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August 1, 2021

Cancer patient tears up loyalty card over mask issue

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We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Cancer patient Chris Dobney has torn up his loyalty card and will no longer shop at Eden’s Landing. Photo Wayne Pen-Dobney.

Eve Jeffery

A local man says he has torn up his loyalty card to Eden’s Landing Health Foods because of what he says is their active promotion of non-mask wearing.

Chris Dobney, who is a former Echo journalist, has been dealing with cancer for the past few years. Mr Dobney went to the Mullumbimby store last Thursday and said he was already inside the store when he realised there were very few people wearing masks.

‘There was a large sign announcing that if you were not wearing a mask it would be assumed that you had an exemption, “no questions asked”.’

A cancer patient on chemotherapy

Mr Dobney, who is currently receiving chemotherapy and managing a compromised immune system because of that, said he felt unsafe considering the current health restrictions, in particular about wearing masks. ‘It is one thing for everyone to make their own health decisions, based on whatever dubious information they have access to. But whatever happened to the community taking responsibility for everyone’s health?

‘As someone on chemotherapy, who is susceptible to any virus floating around, I have to be particularly careful.’

Mr Dobney made it clear on his own social media page and that of Eden’s Landing, that he was not happy about the store’s attitude toward mask-wearing.

Store owner makes no apologies

The poster in Eden’s Landing shop.

Eden’s Landing co-owner Amir Zikhron, makes no apologies for posting the sign in his store. ‘I feel that there is a lot of ignorance in our community and my intention is to spread the love, light, and true to my surroundings, I feel that the general community is not educated in their rights.

‘I do not believe face cover is helping to stop the spread of the virus, on the contrary – masks deplete your immune system and can create lots of problems when you breathe your own carbon dioxide.’

Mr Zikhron said the majority of his customers love it. ‘We get amazing responses and people love it! For sure there are very few people that trying to throw some negativity on us but probably one in every 100 customers. I feel it is a very important role in the community to be setting an example for everyone else. I wish more shops would do the same.’

When The Echo contacted NSW Police, they said that NSW Health is the body to speak to in relation to mask exemptions.

Masks an important addition in the fight against COVID-19

A NSW Health spokesperson said masks are an important addition in the fight against COVID-19 if used correctly.

‘At present, masks are mandatory on public transport and in non-residential indoor settings, including retail settings, venues, workplaces and recreation facilities.

‘Wearing a mask helps protect other people and reduces the chance that an infected person will pass the virus on to others.

‘NSW Health acknowledges that some community members have illnesses, conditions and/or disabilities that makes wearing a mask difficult or unsuitable.

‘Regulatory officers are focused on compliance when it comes to mask-wearing, rather than enforcement.

Documentary evidence available

‘If someone has a medical condition which prevents them wearing a mask, they are encouraged to have documentary evidence available, such as a letter from a registered health practitioner or a disability care provider, outlining their individual circumstances.’

Mr Zikhron, who says he is personally exempt from wearing a mask, said that some people don’t have an exemption and they wear a mask. When The Echo asked him if he thought it might be possible that people might use his generosity to not ask questions, as an excuse to not wear a mask even if they have no reason to be exempt, he said that he didn’t know if they do or not. ‘It’s not my role to judge anyone for what they believe and do, each one to his own belief – my body my choice.’

A simple public health issue

Mr Dobney feels that wearing a mask is akin to a shop owner washing their hands after going to the toilet before serving customers. ‘It is a simple public health issue. And so is wearing a mask. It is illegal not to at this time and it is as simple as that. They are breaking the law.’

Mr Dobney posted his thoughts on the Eden’s Landing review page. ‘It’s all very well to “take your own responsibility for your own health” but whatever happened to the whole community taking responsibility for each other‘s health? This is not a human rights issue it’s a human responsibility issue. Farewell Eden’s Landing.’

Mr Dobney said he will no longer be shopping at the store. ‘Doing business with these loonies is simply no longer an option. They can have their opinions but they won’t have my business anymore.’


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115 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone with ‘compromised immune system’ should stay at home….. it is flu season and masks are not the panacea.

    I went to Coles and 5% of shoppers were not wearing masks…..

    Targeting small business is not nice!…

    • Very caring of you, Richard to tell to tell the vulnerable to stay home. Sounds a bit brown shirt to me! 🥾🥾

      95% adherence rate sounds like Coles was doing pretty well – I’ll bet they didn’t have any of those signs up.

    • This week at Coles their sign says masks are recommended not compulsory….. again about 5% of shoppers are without masks.

      While I wait for self-checkout a younger man (with mask) takes a photo of a younger woman (no mask) who is using one of the self-checkouts……. I am standing behind him and can see his picture of a woman with naked face…….. he then quickly disappears back to his shopping…… he wasn’t queuing for the check-out.
      In dress, age and appearance this man and woman could have been a couple, she was an attractive person……….. perhaps he was just an ordinary stalker and not twisted by mask propaganda.

  2. These people don’t give damn about other people, it’s all me,me,me. I sympathise as I also have a compromised immune system and will definitely not going to the shop of these selfish, ignorant people. The police actually have a role to in force public health orders. Good to call them out with all their witch doctory.

  3. Mr Zikron’s situation points to the difficulties experienced by retailers in that they are supposed to conform to current NSW health orders but have no way of knowing who is and who isn’t exempt from mask wearing. It must also be stressful to act as the “cop on the beat” all day – especially, I imagine in Mullumbimby.

    But this objection is a bit different from what is suggested in: “ ‘I do not believe face cover is helping to stop the spread of the virus, on the contrary – masks deplete your immune system and can create lots of problems when you breathe your own carbon dioxide.’”

    With great respect to Mr Zikron, I don’t think that having “health foods” in his business name is sufficient qualification to make this judgement. Yes anyone can have an opinion but not all opinions are equal when their repercussions affect the wellbeing of the whole community.

    It’s my opinion that we should be discerning about the advice we accept and that we should be very concerned about protecting people in vulnerable situations – like Chris Dobney.

    • Liz, Could you provide the scientific evidence that “masks deplete the immune system and create lots of problems when you breathe your own carbon dioxide”?

  4. I was also in Mullumbimby recently and – compared to the excellent mask uptake in Lismore and elsewhere in the region – the place is clearly in the grip of some arrogant madness. Do these idiots think they are exempt from viruses? Has their iridologist or their homeopathic quack told them it will be alright if they “choose life”?

    Feeble.

    The shopkeeper mentioned above and his outrageously passive aggressive attitude cloaking in “love and light” bullsh*t seems to exemplify the problem In this town. I went into a few shops and was shocked to see so many shopkeepers maskless.

    Plague Rats is what I call them and they should be shut down and arrested.

    The response of the local cops is just abysmal, when their colleagues in Bowral have done the right thing and arrested similar plague rats twice and the New England cops have even fined the deputy PM for breaching the mask mandate what excuse do these weak kneed fools have? Fear of being seen as nasty to plague rats?

    Stuff your “love and light” passive aggressive arrogance Mr Zikhron you are freeloading on those of us who are doing the right thing and your arrogance will get people killed. You’re a fool.

    • Hallelujah Mr Poole. If it’s ok with you, am going to to borrow your “plague rats” moniker for these dangerous fools and call them out whenever and wherever I see them from now on. And BTW it is my experience that the measure of actual “love and light” in a person is in inverse proportion to the amount of times they expressly claim to possess it or know it.

  5. I think that the owner of this shop is playing tricks with their own mind to delude themselves. Why take the chance of giving someone with a compromised immune system a illness like that when all you have to do is wear a mask for the length of time that you’re in the shop? I have taken note of the name of the shop and I won’t go there either unless anything changes. It seems like the policy allows people to waffle with intellectual ideas about ‘free choice’ but really they don’t care. I also have a close relative who has bravely survived cancer and I feel it would be a deep blight on someone’s conscience if they gave her a life threatening illness or killed her because they were too caught up in mental ideas about bogus ‘love and light’. Can the ‘mask deniers’ open their eyes and see that the actual person standing in front of them is afraid of them because they can see that the so called ‘love and light’ spreader is lying and doesn’t actually care about them at all.

    • Adding to my comment above; I shopped at another health food store today, in a different area, don’t want to name! The staff there were not wearing masks, either. The reasons given were psychological problems which made them unable to wear a mask and which had been confirmed by a psychologist. So, I thought to suggest a temporary idea to Mr Dobney, of online shopping or someone shopping on his behalf, when needing to buy from shops where the staff and customers encounter problems with being able to wear masks? Maybe the store mentioned here could offer temporary home delivery (free of charge, maybe?), if they are choosing to give instore preference to customers with problems which cause them not be able to wear a mask? I certainly hope that the pandemic is over soon!

  6. Well I’m a person on immune-therapy who has cancer and I don’t want to wear a mask so I support the opposite point of view !!!

  7. It’s amazing that something as simple as wearing a mask a small contribution is so ignored by so many.
    I went to the doctor about an eye infection and there was a woman from
    Mullumbimby with two children. One child was coughing and runny nose. She walked in and said I am exempt. Everybody wears seat belts there is no exemptions. Two elderly people sat opposite her.
    It was such a small request.
    Doctors and dentists wear them all day to protect us.

    It stops people transmitting disease. Unless you have been really ill or spent time caring for someone in a respiratory ward you really cannot have any idea of the importance of taking steps to reduce risk.

    • Those opposing mask wearing are part of the political right’s emphasis on gross individualism as exemplified in the US where public health systems like the NHS in Britain or those in Scandinavia and Australia are condemned for being socialism! This celebration of the individual which conflates non mask wearing with freedom would never have eliminated the scourges of polio or smallpox, only collective action could achieve this and it is only collective action which will effectively combat COVID-19 and its variants. Those who ignore public health rules are endangering us all and should be regarded as criminals.

  8. Go, Chris!

    As one who has shopped at Eden’s Landing, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars in one go, I stand with you and shall no longer shop there. They need my custom more than I need them.

    Just today in Mullum there were ummasked morons in both IGA and Woolworths. People are welcome to take risks with their own health, but how dare they put others’ health at risk!

  9. It is illegal to promote the non-wearing of masks when the government says to wear masks.
    Whether the law is enforced is another thing.
    A person’s right against the rights of all Australians to live against the wishes of a deadly virus is crushed.
    And so it should be

  10. Good on ya Mr Dobney. Unfortunately you’re up against the under-educated, privileged, and selfish few. I hope your stance brings some realisation to the owners that it’s not peace love and mung beans for all, and a few fines from the Po Po might wake them up.

  11. Best wishes with it all, Chris, and may the loonies be few and far between. The ‘my body my choice’ line Mr Zikhron is parroting is a cynical appropriation of a campaign by women to assert control of their own identities, whereas the pandemic is a public health issue. I assume Mr Zikhron drives on whichever side of the road he feels like at any given time in order to protest against the tyranny of rules made to assist the public survive.

    • Michael, where did bringing women into this. Clearly it’s Mr Zikhron.
      Good on you Chris for re-enforcing this that a selfish few are greatly putting others lives … and livelihoods at risk.

  12. How irresponsible of Mr Zikhron, store owner to suggest that people needn’t wear a mask in his store. And then to state that mask wearing didn’t stop the spread of the virus.. he should look up the facts about how they stopped the spread of the Spanish flu in 1919. Surprise,surprise – wearing a mask helped to stop it spreading.

  13. Because of this man’s public fear mongering I will make sure I start to frequent Eden’s Landing Health Foods more often in support of their stance.

  14. Thank you to the Echo for calling out all the conspiracy theorists and anti-science nutters.

    Please boycott Eden’s Landing or better still call in and complain (through your mask)

    Even better call the cops

      • Is this comment about people being obedient to the whims of their minds? People being too cowardly to think of others? If it is, then I would agree.

      • My first thought was – who the f…k is Robert Anton Wilson, then good old Wikipedia came to the rescue. Born in 1932, it seems, he was quite the prescient :

        “ Among Wilson’s 35 books,[19] and many other works, perhaps his best-known volumes remain the cult classic series[20] The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975), co-authored with Shea. Advertised as “a fairy tale for paranoids,” the three books—The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, and Leviathan, soon offered as a single volume—philosophically and humorously examined, among many other themes, occult and magical symbolism and history, the counterculture of the 1960s, secret societies, data concerning author H. P. Lovecraft and author and occultist Aleister Crowley, and American paranoia about conspiracies and conspiracy theories. The book was intended to poke fun at the conspiratorial frame of mind.

        Wilson and Shea derived much of the odder material from letters sent to Playboy magazine while they worked as the editors of its Forum.[22] The books mixed true information with imaginative fiction to engage the reader in what Wilson called “guerrilla ontology”, which he apparently referred to as “Operation Mindfuck” in Illuminatus! The trilogy also outlined a set of libertarian and anarchist axioms known as Celine’s Laws (named after Hagbard Celine, a character in Illuminatus!), concepts Wilson revisited several times in other writings.

        Among the many subplots of Illuminatus! one addresses biological warfare and the overriding of the United States Bill of Rights, another gives a detailed account of the John F. Kennedy assassination (in which no fewer than five snipers, all working for different causes, prepare to shoot Kennedy), and the book’s climax occurs at a rock concert where the audience collectively face the danger of becoming a mass human sacrifice.”

  15. I will be joining Mr Dobney. He is right, wearing a mask is a public health issue. We all have a responsibility to protect others.
    To encourage people not to wear a mask is selfish and irresponsible

  16. If you are fearful of catching a virus (of which there are currently zero cases in the Shire) – you should stay at home and let the rest of society go about its business as it chooses.

    • Hear hear John…..ZERO cases and we have to put up with these paranoid mask Nazis. Not to mention the lack of proper disposing and glut of bacteria and pathogen breeding grounds they create. Disgusting. It’s not anyone’s business if people are not wearing a mask. This is from the official Gov website https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/face-mask-rules

      “If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this. However, this is not a requirement under the public health order.”

      • If you want to be kind to others and have an actual health reason, having a letter would not go astray. Otherwise, in my opinion, you might seem more like a nasty person, than anyone else.

      • Couple things, Sandy:

        If these masks are repositories of disgusting pathogens and breeding grounds of bacteria, how much better is it to be able to dispose of them (or, even better, wash it all away if wearing a reusable) than breathe all that muck into the air for all to share?

        Remember that every outbreak in the world started with one index case and experienced a period of zero cases.

        All it would take would be one case to pass the infection to Chris Dobney and potentially give him a great deal of grief.

        • My point was that people don’t dispose of them correctly. They take them off in restaurants and leave them on the table. They wear them half on and half off/ Who knows if they wash them, who is policing that! This is all beyond ridiculous and besides, I don’t even subscribe to germ theory. Like someone once said, if germ theory was correct there would be no one around to talk about it….I just wanted to highlight that mask advocates seem to think they provide some kind of magic protection from illness. It’s a personal responsibility to keep ones lifestyle healthy with a strong immune system, the only thing that really works. A good supply of oxygen is a major component of health and wellbeing.

          • Thanks Sanndy, but people doing the wrong thing with their masks doesn’t negate their effectiveness nor is it a good reason not to introduce them as a public health measure. Besides if you don’t believe in germ theory why are you so concerned about the “ glut of bacteria and pathogen breeding grounds they create. Disgusting” ?

            Many of us contributing here are not the mask advocates. We are just prepared to accept that, although they are a pain – they are very annoying if you wear glasses – the consensus of those at the leading edge of research is that they lessen (not eliminate) transmission and are worth the effort. They are the mask advocates.

            We’re prepared to accept that they might know more than us with no medical qualifications.

            For masks to be an effective strategy though it requires numbers. . Masks actually offer more protection, we are advised, to others than to an individual wearing one. It’s about a group effort or sense of community responsibility . I know that’s becoming anathema to a growing element in this shire.

            It is a personal responsibility to keep one’s lifestyle healthy and I’d include in this following the scientific advice in the current situation – a new virus against which our natural immune defences have had little chance to evolve. Do you subscribe to Darwinian theory?

            Then what about those who, despite the healthiest of lifestyles, experience a compromised immune system – the aged, those undergoing some treatments etc.

        • Just because I don’t subscribe to germ theory Liz doesn’t mean I want someones used personal item next to me in a restaurant

  17. Well said Chris. This has to be madness. It’s one thing to jeopardise your self, but to jeopardise the community this way is so irresponsible. Especially when there are sections of this community who believe everything and anything that suits their madness. I wont be shopping at Eden’s Landing any more and I hope others will make the same decision.

  18. Well done Mr Dobney. Mask wearing and vaccination are social responsibilities. It shows that we care for our fellow citizens. To not follow the advice of hundreds of independent medical experts shows that we care only for ourselves. Hugely selfish and anti social.

  19. I certainly won’t be shopping at Edens Landing till the owner educates himself on mask wearing. The Me Me Me attitude is rife in Mullumbimby . Not all compromised immune people have someone to go shopping for them and have a right like non compromised immune people to go shopping for supplies.
    Geez wear a mask and help to protect our community. After you nurse someone fighting cancer and have some fool transmit a flu bug to them, you may just realise how important it is to care for your community .
    Love and light BS doesn’t cut it in this case.

    • “After you nurse someone fighting cancer and have some fool transmit a flu bug to them, you may just realise how important it is to care for your community .” Very telling sentence this.. Did we ever wear masks because of the flu? No, people stayed home until the were well, just like people with Covid stay home until they are well. There is little to no chance of asymptomatic people passing on the virus.

      • I think that you ought to check the medical advice on that. I think that it is not true that asymptomatic people cannot pass on this virus. Covid is not the flu. By the time someone realises that they have covid, they may well have been walking around for days, capable of spreading it, which is why there are contact tracing apps. People can spread covid before they know that they have it. If that person has been doing the things that help stop the spread (such as wearing a mask), there is less chance that they may have passed it on. I entirely agree with the first comment that, if you have actual experience of caring for people in who are sick in real life, you would not want to be so arrogant and flippant.

  20. It’s a bad day when Ron Priestley wants to call the cops on people ! Geez Ron, bit shabby mate ! Forgetting your more radical roots.

    If there were people dropping in the streets, maybe.

      • Being a radical in the past was often motivated by concern and responsibility for the whole community over personal gain and this US style libertarianism.

        It wasn’t about an anti science stance that values any old opinion (because it’s MINE and what suits me) over those who have put in the work to have a better idea.

        Maybe if you think someone has credibility it’s worth pausing to consider their view.

    • These days in Mullumbimby, to care about someone other than yourself and your own (misguided) perception of your “rights “, is the truly radical act, Rossco. So much easier to just conform to the narcissistic self righteousness that pervades the Byron shire, cloaked as “love and light” mantra. All power to Ron and his rational mind – so unfashionable!

  21. Thanks for this info. I’ll be shopping at Eden’s Landing from now on to support the courageous owner. Mr Zikhron, you can advertise from now on your products are FEAR FREE. Totalitarians keep out of the shop.

    • In my opinion, there are different kinds of fear. Some fears are very useful ones, such as the fear of stepping into the path of a moving car. Or the fear of coughing over someone, when you know that it might make them very ill. I think that this comment misses the point that the person writing the article is someone who has physical health problems and also has a right to shop. For about the length of two weeks that masks are required! They are not a totalitarian leader who has no reason to make such a request. But, what is coming across to me, is that the ‘anti maskers’, have problems, too, otherwise they would be able to just do this simple task to help others.

  22. Let’s just face we will find these anti ask wackos on the Darwin website about removing themselves from the gene pool by acts of stupidity.

  23. My theory on the anti-masking brigade ( growing at an alarming rate ) is that it all started with the 9/11 anti Arab rhetoric that trump and his band of fools propagated . You see ,in the more enlightened parts of the world , mask wearing is seen for what it is , sensible ,obvious and protective … Arabs and other cultures have worn them for eons . I suppose some of these antimaskers would advocate surgeons operating without them too . I applaud the echo calling out the idiocy of the simple shopkeeper .

  24. Wow people. What has happened to us? To presume everyone is a deadly biohazard without any evidence, to fear and belittle, to judge and admonish anyone who doesn’t abide by the rules of the herd, this is a very slippery slope towards a darkness that none of us believed possible again in our lifetimes.

    Fear is a strong motivator, but ask yourself what evidence there is to justify this fear? What evidence is there that flimsy face coverings make any difference? Scientifically there is none. This article appeared in the SMH 18 years ago. Please read it. Do you think “the science” changed in this time?

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/farce-mask-its-safe-for-only-20-minutes-20030427-gdgnyo.html

    If you don’t want to shop there, that is your right. Those that want to can do so, without fear of being attacked when they have a valid reason for not masking up. The echo started by hippies now calling the cops on a business in mullum! Is this the world we want to live in?

    • What’s amazing is how the supposedly gentle, caring hippies of Mullum have been sucked in by the ego-centric radical libertarians of the e Treme right wing. Peace and love my arse!

  25. It’s not only Eden’s Landing taking this insupportable stance. Today, in the space of five minutes, I saw the same notice in the windows of the following businesses:
    Shanti Town, Hemp Culture, Hooked & Cooked, Made in Mullum, Iz‎akaya Yu, and The Other Joint. That makes seven businesses now off my shopping list.

  26. Seems to me the simplest thing to do would be have an unannounced visit by the cops to the store and leave it up to the cops to check out who truly does, or doesn’t, have a medical exemption from wearing a mask whilst shopping in the above mentioned store. Mabey a few on the spot fines for the shop owners customers , might make the business owner think twice about his current actions.

  27. “ Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about.”

    Unless you disagree with the herd in which case we’ll call the police.

  28. You can be fined $5000, for refusing goods or services to people NOT wearing a mask. This is because
    customers may have a lawful exemption such as a medical condition. As a business owner, you are not
    lawfully able to ask customers for PROOF of their medical exemption, as that information is protected
    under the Privacy Act. However, you can ask if they have a medical exemption. Under the Privacy
    Act that they are not required to respond (Disability Discrimination Act 1992 sec 6 & 4).

  29. Look how scared we are, how sad this has become, dobbing people in. Pfffttt.

    This isn’t Ebola people, nil deaths in Australia this year 2021 from Covid.

    The data, the real facts (yeh can be a shock in a fake news world) do not justify the hype.

    Your leaky mask won’t save you if this was Ebola, so please don’t carry on like this is Ebola and fear someone who isn’t wearing a mask standing up.

    You know the rules say you can sit down and drink water in any store without a mask on. Govt says that’s ok!

    Turn your TV’s off.

    Don’t feed the fear machine. Love your neighbour.

    Viruses tend to become more contagious, but less dangerous and this is what is happening.

    Your chance of dying from Covid in Australia is now so much close to zero weather you shop online or in Mullum.

    • Umm Steve – it ain’t Ebola we’re talking about here. And “ nil deaths in Australia this year 2021 from Covid.” – that’s because community transmission has to date been so low because our states and territories have largely done the opposite of what, I assume, you would oppose:

      * Acknowledge the existence of the virus and take its threat seriously
      * Take notice of those who actually know something about virology, immunology and epidemiology – they tell us that the Delta and Delta+ variants are very much more contagious with no signs of being less “dangerous”. It’s certainly looking that way in Indonesia right now.
      *Introduce measures (including the cheap, simple, easy masks wearing) that stifle outbreaks to give us back the months of liberty most have experienced in this country most of the time – yes free of fear.

      Nik deaths in 2021 – the idea is to keep it that way, no? It’s not the experience in many parts of the world.

        • Thanks for the link to this very interesting report, Steve, which is headlined: “ The Delta COVID-19 variant is more infectious – but there’s ‘promising’ data on vaccines and deadliness”

          It’s not a good idea though to cherry pick one stat out of context. You don’t think these figures are referring to Australia do you? We haven’t had any mortality upon which to base anything. The 1.9% refers to the original variants which go back to the original days of the pandemic. Since the Delta variants started muscling out the others, the UK – the source of Professor Torville’s cited study – has fully vaccinated most of its older population, as reported.

          If a greater proportion of the infected are now the young this will obviously alter the mortality rate. Looks good indeed for the vaccines, no?

          Unfortunately, Australia’s population is so far woefully unprotected by vaccines (thanks to the federal government) so we need to be conscious of our other defences eg masks. Remember the original issue here? Mask wearing in Mullumbimby. 😷

  30. Barnaby Joyce copped a $200 fine for not wearing a mask a few days ago because someone called the police – so I reckon call the police – a few visits and they’ll soon have sorted out the ones who have a genuine medical reason not to wear from those who are having a lend and unneccessarily putting the community at risk.

  31. Wow, I can’t believe the aggression and the fear sprouting up all over our beautiful shire, as evident here on some of these comments.
    The masks are a mandate, they’re not law and therefor the police can’t really fine people who have an exemption, they aren’t even allowed to ask them to show their exemption.
    Whenever people choose to challenge these fines in court, it gets thrown out, as it’s illegal for shop owners or police to discriminate against someone who is unable to wear a mask. Add to that our privacy act that protects people from having to divulge their medical reasons for having an exemption.
    If you choose to wear a mask, you obviously believe that it can protect you and others so why are you worried? If you don’t want to shop at Eden’s Landing, don’t , but why shame and belittle them for respecting human rights?
    I, for one, love Eden’s Landing and will continue to shop there and I’ll add a thank you to Mr. Zikron and all the businesses in our shire that have taken the time to educate themselves re their rights as retailers as well as the rights of their clientele.
    I wish you all health and wellbeing and a good dose of compassion and kindness.

    • So plague rats and other sociopaths simply manipulate the rules by pretending trauma.funny how ALL the staff at Eden’s Landing have the same traumas poor darlings.must come of working for a boss who actively works to undermine health of his workers and customers.

    • Why can’t you just see that you’re being cruel to the person who bravely wrote this article? He is physically sick. He probably has enough strength to go to the health food shop, probably on foot, each day to buy health necessities. That is probably just about all the social interaction he has. If you visit this shop, you probably get in a car and go off to visit friends, jobs, I don’t know, a whole lot of other activities. What does it take to pause and consider; when I go into this store that is selling essential health supplies, that are hard to obtain elsewhere, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to be generous enough to bend my strict beliefs and give the person who clearly has more need, a bit of space to feel and be safe? It seems to me that you’re not being honest with yourself, if you think that your strict and insensitive defiance is anything to do with a ‘hippy’ lifestyle.

  32. Thank you Agorist for making the most intelligent, informed comment based on facts not fear or propaganda. Thank you to the Echo for providing free advertising to a local business. Apparently Eden’s Landing has never been so busy since this tripe was published. Oscar Wilde made a valid observation when he said ‘There is one thing in the world worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.’ As for Australian society, it is commonly known that there are more sheep in Australia than people .. apparently the numbers of the former are swelling as people make the journey to the other side nodding vacantly as they welcome an experimental improperly tested gene therapy (exempted from legal liability by your elected masters) that has caused more death and illness in Australia than the virus itself. It is actually embarrassing to see members of what used to be a very switched on community embracing ineffective mask wearing in a zero risk environment but keep up the good work and obey good sheeple, Big Pharma .. I mean government .. is only interested in your health and well-being because sick people are good for business. Cui Bono?

  33. Shivalexus – I could join the crew who give your ilk descriptors like, uneducated, ignorant of science, credulous, deluded, pampered, sheltered from reality, smug, YouTube warrior [email protected]*#3rs.

    But I don’t, because I’d rather stick to analysing the message than profiling the messenger.

    Spouting cult-like mantras about sheep, sheeple, masters, Big Pharma, nodding zombies etc are no cover for a lack of engagement with real substance and give you little credibility.

    • Analyse the message then rather than avoiding that responsibility by resorting to ad hominem and logical fallacy

      • But you had no message apart from the inane repetition of (as Liz L so aptly described it) cult like mantras about sheep, sheepies, masters Big Pharma etc. There is no actual substance in your message to analyse, just foolish platitudes.

      • I advocated against ad hominem, Silvalexus. I didn’t call you those things I simply pointed out that I could but it wouldn’t prove much.

        The common labels slung about in both sides of many dates, just take cheap pot shots rather than engage meaningfully with the issues. You surely can’t suggest you’re not into a bit of “ad hominem” sneering with advice like “keep up the good work and obey good sheeple”.

        And I think Melissa nailed it about the lack of analysis of the message.

  34. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be definitely supporting this business and shopping there more. We all have a right to breathe fresh air. Its basic human rights. If people feel unsafe living their life then stay home . And go shop at woolies . And it’s not a law. A directive is not law. Police aren’t even able to enforce this as they know it’s not a law.

  35. Some excellent comments……….. and also many nasty comments from the vax-up-lockdown-mask-on brigade….. are these people driven by fear of virus or is it the fear of realising they have been played for fools (sixteen months and counting).

    Media corrupt, science corrupt…….. government we know….. big moolah buys everything

    • Richard the only nasty suggestions I’ve read on here are the ones along the lines of:
      Too bad if you’re a bit more vulnerable than the average person, stay home. My right to believe I know better than people with medical qualifications (so I can convince myself I’m oh so gifted with superior intuitive insight and sneer gleefully at others) trumps your right to feel cared for by your community. Sufficiently cared for that they will inconvenience themselves for the short duration it takes to do a bit of shopping. (Just in case – ludicrous as it may seem – I may not be absolutely right about absolutely everything)

  36. Such a sad article and attitude we’re experiencing in the shire and the world at large. Small family business, trying to support the community and they get attacked by someone who could have just worn a mask and not said anything. Eden aren’t actually doing anything illegal. I’m all for protecting citizens and mindfulness, I wear a mask when I treat at risk patients, but come on, right now in the age of multi-million dollar conglomerates that run the food industry you turn on your local shop because they don’t do things the way you want? It feels like there’s a motivation of ill will, anger and fear behind this article. I think processing and clearing the emotion before sitting down and writing something could help. And I pray that this ill will, anger and fear is not the intention and energy that we perpetuate in our society and especially in the shire. I also wish for Chris’s recovery and ease on his path. <3 blessings

  37. Hey, come off it. Grow up. Wear a mask that won’t harm anyone… a wash & wear. The community’s
    full of babies, school kids, the ill & aged. Masks worn during The Spanish Flu helped save the spread.
    We are too damn ‘precious’ these days & having read the self centered MM stuff all I’ve got to say is
    your so called world is a shallow embarrassment to man & woman kind & those in between. What
    a bleak future you are practicing.

  38. Come on,Chris…take responsibility for your own life instead of blaming others! You allowed cancer into your body,because you are ignorant about how to nurture the body so it has the power to protect itself! Most people haven‘t got a clue about their own body because we have not been educated about it,so they believe in doctors,like they believe in priests…this ignorance makes them fearful and fearful people always try to blame someone else instead of educating themselves! If you think wearing a mask protects you,do it,why should it matter then if I don’t wear a mask,fearful people are usually intolerant and you are one of them,who doesn’t take responsibility for their own health,i know this may sound harsh,but it takes courage and strength to own up to our ignorance and shortcomings,but unless you do,you will learn nothing from the he cancer,it is your body trying to show you that you didn’t listen to it,maybe it is time to listen to the language of your body and stop blaming other people…good luck

  39. THANK YOU TO THE ECHO FOR SIMPLY REPORTING A STORY & NOT TAKING SIDES. IT WAS TOLD TO GO TO THE POLICE…the editors weren’t trying to close this business down. Get a grip , we are soooooo lucky to have The Echo as our local, long running independent paper, whilst so much of the Murdoch (madness) press has retreated. The reason we DON’T have Covid (to our knowledge) in the area IS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WEARING MASKS & ATTEMPTING SOCIAL DISTANCING. That is those of us who do actually care about others, that is the core of a functioning /caring community…is it not? Isn’t that the basis of ‘love/peace & light’ ? I’m really glad the NON mask brigade don’t work in the ICU ward.

    • Brain washing Anton! It’s a no brainer to do everything and follow the medical advice to protect yourself. your family and fellow community members from COVID 19, COVID 19 is real and dangerous.

      • follows medical advice with absolute belief in a midget hierarchy directed by pharma corporations……. WHO says……… chief medical says.

        March/April 2020 there may have been a pandemic (there wasn’t)…… May 2020 there’s been no pandemic…… June 2020 an opportunity to unwind…. the propaganda increases………. totalitarian noise, psyops, brain washing…… waves, variants, delta to Mars………… what’s next…. the blind will follow any noise.

  40. With full love and respect, With all of these emotions here, I’m wondering if people have looked at the actual science of this? The ex Pfizer vaccination chief scientist Vice President Michael Yeadon working for 32 years in big pharmaceutical companies with a
    PhD in respiratory pharmacology had made a statement sharing that respiratory viruses including COVID-19 cannot be passed on by someone who is asymptomatic ( that’s means anyone without symptoms ) and that lock downs and masks have no benefit in preventing infection ~ only isolating just those with symptoms helps prevent spread.
    So while Australian businesses are all closing, and many with trauma and respiratory disorders are suffering wearing masks ~ we are having these discussions on how we think a respiratory virus works.
    Also with official WHO results ~ COVID-19 is only slightly more dangerous to the elderly and sick than the flu, and for those that are young and healthy, the flu is more dangerous.
    This is looking at the science, and not the news.

    I think we need to remember here that we are a community, and supporting small business and our freedom is important here, and not take these things for granted, and to stay grounded.

      • Is that your best response after all your previous eloquence? Typical herd mentality. Try doing your own research instead of watching the tel-lie-vision. It’s getting harder to know the truth with all the propaganda circulating these days, however I do believe you always find what your looking for. Perspective much?

  41. Thanks for this info! I will be supporting this shop and Zikhron more from now on!
    If you feel like you need to wear a mask that does more harm than good, then for go it.. but don’t try and throw hate towards to the percentage of humans who are awoke and not feeding into this government bullshit.. if you really took a look at their laws around masks it’s laughable-
    I’m sure as soon as your trusty government tells you on “Sunday at 12pm” it’s safe to take off your mask, you all will like the obedient little sheep they have turned you into. And then what? You think this ‘deadly disease’ your all so worried about Suddenly switches off and it’s safe to not wear your mask any more.. come on people wake up, take control of your life and look at what’s really going on.. You should be thanking the non mask wearing heros for not feeding into the bullshit and fighting for any rights we have left.. before the government takes them away one by one.. FREEDOM OF CHOICE- you go make yours by wearing a mask- and I’ll choose NEVER to!

      • Of course we have plenty of factual resources to expose the mainstream narrative. The UK parliamentary committee and the Corman Drosten Review for starters:

        https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/18304/html/

        ‘In the publication entitled “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” (Eurosurveillance 25(8) 2020) the authors present a diagnostic workflow and RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV (now known as SARS-CoV-2), which they claim to be validated, as well as being a robust diagnostic methodology for use in public-health laboratory settings.
        In light of all the consequences resulting from this very publication for societies worldwide, a group of independent researchers performed a point-by-point review of the aforesaid publication in which 1) all components of the presented test design were cross checked, 2) the RT-qPCR protocol-recommendations were assesses w.r.t. good laboratory practice, and 3) parameters examined against relevant scientific literature covering the field.
        The published RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV and the manuscript suffer from numerous technical and scientific errors, including insufficient primer design, a problematic and insufficient RT-qPCR protocol, and the absence of an accurate test validation. Neither the presented test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication. Further, serious conflicts of interest of the authors are not mentioned. Finally, the very short timescale between submission and acceptance of the publication (24 hours) signifies that a systematic peer review process was either not performed here, or of problematic poor quality. We provide compelling evidence of several scientific inadequacies, errors and flaws.

        Gillian Jamieson, M.A.Hons, PGDip, MBACP’

        External peer review of the RTPCR test to detect SARS-CoV-2 reveals 10 major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level: consequences for false positive results.

        Pieter Borger(1), Bobby Rajesh Malhotra(2) , Michael Yeadon(3) , Clare Craig(4), Kevin McKernan(5) , Klaus Steger(6) , Paul McSheehy(7) , Lidiya Angelova(8), Fabio Franchi(9), Thomas Binder(10), Henrik Ullrich(11) , Makoto Ohashi(12), Stefano Scoglio(13), Marjolein Doesburg-van Kleffens(14), Dorothea Gilbert(15), Rainer Klement(16), Ruth Schruefer(17), Berber W. Pieksma(18), Jan Bonte(19), Bruno H. Dalle Carbonare(20), Kevin P. Corbett(21), Ulrike Kämmerer(22)

        Time to read up Liz L so you stay with us on the facts

        https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/

        • I wasn’t doubting your capacity to give me endless links to more than a lifetime of reading on the topic, Shivalexus. I was just amazed that you thought Senator Robert’s thoughts might give any weight to anything. The stuff you have given me here, in your latest link, has also sfa to do with what MR was on about.

          Remember, skill with cut and paste and coming up with key words for Mr Google is no substitute for actually understanding and using the material meaningfully to support your contentions.

          Web-linking should be about verifying the existence of data or commentary you have appropriately drawn on in your own discussion.

          It’s not a war based on who can supply the most web links. The pen is mightier than the sword but neither are much good unless used skilfully.

          • Agree, pays to add a reference now and then to back up your statements.
            Also pays to debate the info, not the messenger. Group think and cancel culture can be dangerous.

            I was recently re-reminded after discovering that some certain individuals, I would never imagine myself agreeing with, can actually say or do something sensible. How could these individuals “give weight to anything”? Well they recently stopped the proposed relaxation of Australia’s Bank lending laws in the Senate and also stopped the proposed ban on cash transactions between individuals.

            I can also remember when the science said smoking was ok and Roundup herbicide is ok (although some sponsored research facilities are still saying Roundup is fine).

  42. Amir, this store owner, says that ‘you can tell’ when children are unvaccinated, like his own. He says they are healthier because they have a certain ‘shine in their eyes.’ Like this is the one life variable that determines people’s vitality. Very empirically minded fellow, obviously.

  43. I think the debate has become unnecessarily polarised. Anti vaxers/masks are right that a healthy immune system is the best defence against all diseases, but diseases have their own separate life and ‘want to’ grow and replicate as a parasite on us – that’s the diseases’ independent healthy life force that wants you as the next host (and this one has killed millions in a year). This disease replicates and spreads itself by physical contact with us, which includes droplets in the air, and I think that any shop should assist in slowing that possibility. We have been fortunate to not have an outbreak here, but if you want music festivals and overseas travel, then that will come with the risk that it does erupt here, as it is, and will remain, still rampant many places overseas. If it does take off here, then you will likely know the local people who die, or who will be fighting for their life in hospital, or suffering from long term impacts. Me and my partner are in the late 60’s and early 70s and I have relatives who lived a healthy life till they were 100, thank you very much, so I politely suggest that the simple wearing of a mask (that does restrict the disease using your breath to spread) when there is a heightened risk, would be supportive of those in the community who have genuine concerns as they are at a higher risk of death (whatever lifestyle, unhealthy or not that they live). Dont we look after the most vulnerable in our community now? There is only one way to stop this disease, and that is to stop its transmission, and sorry but masks do help, so whatever your well founded position on living a healthy life and the evidenced cynical self serving actions of big pharma, can we cut a bit of slack, and give a bit of grace, for those who dont live your lifestyle, and especially give consideration to those amongst us that have a real fear of contracting this disease, irrespective of whether you think their belief is valid or not, and vica versa in the debates with those that prioritise a natural healthy lifestyle as their personal best way of maintaining defences against diseases. I dont get Flu shots but if there was a rampant flu outbreak I’d wear a mask (and note the flu is seasonal and then dies off, but Covid doesnt). Whatever your thoughts, would a protest of ripping up a bank card because of a position taken by a bank deserve the same vitriolic discussion? Do we not act on the bigger picture of ‘only’ a few Koalas likely to die from a development? The bigger picture is getting Covid out of our lives so that no body dies from it.

    • Thanks, John – this is a refreshingly straight-talking, genuine and sincere summation. The polarisation is not the only problem though. Many of these exchanges – like this one about the tensions between individual and societal rights – are underpinned by such a range of assumptions including:
      *Covid 19 is one of the biggest challenges to public health in a century
      *Covid 19 exists but it’s no more worrying than a cold and we shouldn’t worry people about it
      *Covid 19 is a complete fabrication devised by an international cabal to microchip everybody, introduce mind control and totalitarian world dictatorship
      *Countless permutations in between

      Makes contributing all rather meaningless and I tell myself I should cease and desist. Can’t get past that old maxim though that the stuff you ignore is the stuff you condone.

  44. First up, I am a very ‘awake’ human who gets real & does not believe in, let alone
    trust the ill informed government I am ‘saddled with’ by those following ‘a pie in
    the sky’. Whatever in-thing is in vogue can’t swing me into believing I should-do
    -as-I-am-told. Common sense again speaks louder than trolls following a get-well
    forever brain storm that, in fact, is more dangerous than our leader-of-men. My
    grandmother in the US died due to the Spanish Flu [she didn’t wear a mask]. Her
    husband wore a mask & lived to the grand age of 97. Put the community first. It’s
    a caring concern that won’t harm the harmless.

    • look it up the people actually died of bacterial pneumonia the most from wearing filthy masks during the Spanish flu.

  45. As disturbing as the virus is ,I suspect the polarisation will be equally as difficult to solve . It is a terrible worry . We live in parralel universes … The anti maskers steadfastly refuse to believe anything in the mainstream media. Most of them appear to equate all media sources with Murdoch . They only trust their YouTube or Twitter feeds . The scrutiny which they believe is not applied to the media doesn’t appear to figure in their blind acceptance of their conspiracy theories . Therein lies the problem …

  46. anyone read Albert Camus? people, you least expect, are noble. those you trust with your life, venal. no different now. tensions rub and bleed the best and worst of people. try for calm and consideration. if not now, when

  47. I don’t have cancer, but I do have somewhat of a compromised immune system. I have compassion for the fear he has due to not going any deeper than the surface level of research/ or advice/ mainstream medical advice.
    I have had several virus’ from dengue fever, to ross river fever, to Ebstinebar to mycoplasma (a type of pneumonia that’s not quite a virus and not quite a Bactria) to Cytomeglovirus, with constant immunological issues, chronic fatigue and pain, and constantly feeling unwell and easily falling ill. HOWEVER I am NOT afraid of cov.2
    I was at first when I just believed what a trusted friend believed- as it was a friend I looked up to and I consider to be smart, but after the last year and a half of doing my own research, and going down the rabbit hole, and seeing the cornucopia of doctors, researchers, virologists immunologists who have been silenced, and censored who have spoken their truths that are absolutely contrary to the fear mongering narrative that is being pushed; I am absolutely not afraid of getting cov2. I’m far more scared of people getting the MRNA Shot-
    I have seen all the evidence to the contrary of lock downs, to the contrary of masks. and the deleterious effects it has had on us as a society; mentally, emotionally and medically.
    also the part about needing to provide evidence for not wearing a mask that is not correct. It’s illegal to refuse entry for not wearing a mask as it is discrimination. Mandates are not law, and asking for peoples private medical information is also illegal.
    It states on the NSW government website You do not need to provide evidence of your exemption. however you “May” want to get some. They are relying on compliance and on you volunteering your private information.

    I would post a screen shot of the information but I will leave a link instead https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/face-mask-rules#exemptions

  48. I have COPD & wear a mask when I am out. I made the decision to get the jab simply
    because I knew I’d not be able to live with myself if – for comfort’s sake – I could quite
    easily ‘pass on’ the virus to a child or any other member of the public. And yes, I’ve
    read enough ‘data’ to know that I do not need to ‘stand up & be corrected’. There
    are those who feel that to lecture the ill by stating that whatever is ‘wrong’ in their
    body is due to the that person’s ignorance. In other words… if the mind is ok it’s
    impossible to get cancer. I prefer truth & realism over self promotion.

  49. It doesn’t really matter what any of has to say to the other. Most of us have our views and aren’t going to be swayed no matter how reasonable, sensible and logical the pro mask argument may be. That said, Edens Landing is now persona non grata as far as I’m concerned. There is one “right”I believe should be denied to everyone. The right to be ignorant.

    • I agree Norman, that being well informed and less ignorant on this topic is extremely important. That’s why I keep revisiting this conversation so I can contribute scientifically researched information for our collective benefit. I posted a link yesterday on mask studies which, for whatever reason the moderator chose not to include with my comment. Hopefully, they will allow this study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It’s a long read but worth it if you really want to maintain your right to be well informed.

      https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/8/4344/htm

  50. Thanks Sanndy. I’ll read that tomorrow. Meantime I’m Listening & reading our mess in NSW & Victoria;
    again it’s shocking. Along with that, my contacts in India can’t turn their for-real problems around. There
    are no toll numbers of the hundreds of thousands who died there. The happening’s still viral & is likely
    to become worse.

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