‘I think they’re useless’: Elderly Marine veteran temporarily blinded by mask takes nasty fall

A Korean War veteran’s mask blinded him during his workout causing him to fall and suffer injury one week before the mask mandate was rescinded.

Eugene “Ed” Norton, 84, of Reading, MA described the February 3 incident over the phone and told Fox News Digital he was “stunned” by what happened when he had been riding an exercise bike.

“During my exercise, my mask had risen up over my nose and blurred my vision. I couldn’t see my feet,” he said, explaining getting off the bike and heading to another machine, “and I tripped over a scale in my path and then hit my head on a [nearby] workout machine.”

Norton received prompt aid from a nurse and a doctor who had been exercising near him and they immediately saw to the injury. They reportedly stopped the bleeding and applied a bandage and an ice pack provided by one of the gym’s managers.

“I really whacked my head,” Norton said of the fall. After two trainers helped him up off the ground, the doctor and nurse who saw to his care recommended Norton go for a CAT scan feeling the severity of the blow warranted the precaution.

Norton, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955-1963, had gone on to receive a master’s degree in nursing and so decided against the scan based on his own experience.

The added insult to Norton’s injury came when the local Board of Health voted to rescind the indoor mask mandate on February 10, just one week after his fall. Now they only “recommend” the use of n95, KN95 or surgical masks in indoor public settings.

Several of Norton’s friends voiced their frustration with the policies that led to an incident that would likely not have happened otherwise. A workout friend described it as “awful” stating, “It’s not how our veterans’ golden years are supposed to go – masked for no good reason. Ed is one of our American heroes and should be treated like one everywhere he goes.”

John Vino, a friend who takes Norton to church throughout the week as well as out to lunch said, “It’s a real shame how Ed got hurt. He is someone who has always hated wearing the mask.”

In fact, Norton said, “I think they’re useless.”

Norton went on to critique the lack of science in public policy decisions, saying, “The type of mask most of us are wearing is not protection at all. And these little kids wearing them all the time? It’s not right, and it’s not borne out by science.”

Instead, he feels they’ve only caused harm to communities, stating, “They’ve created a lot of panic and destroyed relationships. Some people get really dogmatic about masking. I’ve been approached in the grocery store for not wearing a mask.”

Norton currently lives alone in the first house he and his late wife Brenda Norton lived together. They raised two sons in Reading during 59 years of marriage who bore them two grandchildren. Norton recounts a favorite saying of his wife who passed in October 2021 to, “always be kinder than necessary.”

When asked for his opinion on having the nursing abilities to care for his wife during her illness, Norton remarked, “That’s how God works sometimes.”


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