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Williamsburg woman says mask mandate is detrimental to her health

mask at grocery store
Posted at 1:08 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 07:27:48-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Face masks are currently required in the Commonwealth in indoor and public spaces. That order came last week from Governor Ralph Northam.

Face masks are required on public transportation, stores, restaurants or anywhere where people can congregate in groups.

But Tina Parman, a Williamsburg resident, says wearing a mask is a health risk.

"I was upset, I was already receiving hate and knew that it would be much much worse," Parman said.

Parman, a former nurse and Army medic, says she's constantly getting dirty looks and comments at the grocery store from people questioning why she isn't wearing a mask.

"I can't even go to the store to get milk without people burning right through me," she said.

Parman was diagnosed with asthma 17 years ago and claims the masks prohibit her air intake.

"Any time I put a mask on, I am reaching for my rescue inhaler, and that is not good to do on a constant basis," Parman explained.

News 3 asked Parman if she was worried that by not wearing a mask, she could get COVID-19, especially with an underlying health condition.

"I'm not worried because I do tons of stuff that is good for my health," Parman said. "I get vitamin D, take herbal supplements, sit in my infrared sauna and I don't go out when I am sick."

We also questioned if Parman should wear a mask in public purely out of respect for her neighbors.

"If I am in a store and I see another human, I make sure I keep my distance and let them pass, and I don't go near people," she said.

Parman is not alone in her opinion. This image is circulating across social media. So-called "anti-maskers" say they aren't required to disclose their condition due to privacy laws like HIPAA.

Northam's order does state those with medical conditions are not required to wear a mask, but he did encourage it out of respect for others.

"Face coverings in public reduce transmission of this virus," Northam said. "It's just the right thing to do to protect people around you."

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