Boston-area Navy veteran blinded by mask during gym workout suffers contusive fall


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Eugene “Ed” Norton, a Korean War veteran from Reading, Massachusetts, suffered multiple bruises to his face and head at his local gym after the mask he had to wear due to the mitigation measures of COVID got on his face and obscured his vision – causing him to fall.

The accident happened on February 3, nearly two weeks ago. He is still recovering from bruises to his face and head.

Norton, 84, served overseas in the Korean War, rising to the rank of sergeant in the Marines. He proudly served the nation from 1955 to 1963.

Norton told Fox News Digital that he just got off an exercise bike (and yes, masks were necessary even during workouts). He was heading for another training machine when he tripped and fell.

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“During my exercise, my mask came up over my nose and blurred my vision,” Norton said in a phone interview.

“I couldn’t see my feet, and tripped over a ladder on my way, then hit my head on a [nearby] training device.”

He was “stunned” by his accident, Norton said.

Navy veteran Ed Norton was injured in a fall when the mask he had to wear inside a local gym (while working out) came up in his face and obscured his vision as he that he was heading for another exercise machine.
(Deirdre Reilly)

A nurse and doctor who were exercising alongside Norton rushed to his aid. Their first task was to stop the bleeding.

Norton said he was given a bandage and an ice pack that the nurse received from gym officials.

Then two trainers “lifted me up and got me off the ground,” Norton said. “I really hit my head.”

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The doctor who treated Norton told him he felt his injuries were serious enough to warrant a CT scan, which Norton decided against.

The board of health for the city of Norton, which is about 12 miles north of Boston, voted last Thursday, February 10, 2022, to rescind the city’s mask mandate for indoor spaces.

Ed Norton’s injury occurred the previous week, while warrants were still in place. His facial bruising and tenderness persist to this day.

Veteran Ed Norton (right, in red jacket) with a good friend and neighbor, John Vino, who takes him to church and helps him with his errands.

Veteran Ed Norton (right, in red jacket) with a good friend and neighbor, John Vino, who takes him to church and helps him with his errands.
(Deirdre Reilly)

One of Norton’s workout buddies in town remains furious over his pal’s fall over his mask.

“It’s awful,” the friend told Fox News Digital. “This is not how our veterans’ golden age is supposed to unfold – masked for no good reason. Ed is one of our American heroes and he should be treated as such wherever he goes.”

Just as the City of Norton has done, many other municipalities and regions across the country have relaxed their mask mandates.

After his years in the Marines, Norton worked as a vice president for an insurance company. He also earned a master’s degree in nursing.

He has his own opinions on masking.

Masks like these have been part of American life for two years. Ed Norton knows all about it; his accident at a local gym due to a mask accident left him with multiple bruises.

Masks like these have been part of American life for two years. Ed Norton knows all about it; his accident at a local gym due to a mask accident left him with multiple bruises.
(Stock)

“I think they’re unnecessary,” Norton said.

“The type of mask that most of us wear is not protective at all,” he also said. “What about those little kids who wear them all the time? It’s not good, and it’s not backed up by science.”

Even though mask mandates in the town of Norton have now been lifted, area health officials are still recommending that people wear N95, KN95, or surgical masks “in indoor public places and [that] public meetings are held remotely, except when in-person meetings are deemed essential,” as the local Patch reported.

Norton, not coincidentally, is still grieving for his wife of 59 years, Brenda, whom he lost to illness last October.

Another view of Navy veteran Ed Norton, with facial bruises and cuts from his fall. He thinks the masks so many Americans have had to wear have been "useless." He also told Fox News Digital, "Some people get really dogmatic about masking."

Another view of Navy veteran Ed Norton, with facial bruises and cuts from his fall. He thinks the masks so many Americans have had to wear have been “unnecessary”. He also told Fox News Digital, “Some people get really dogmatic about masking.”
(Deirdre Reilly)

Norton took care of his wife until her death at the end of October 2021.

When asked how he felt about using his nursing abilities and experience to care for his own wife while she was sick, Norton simply replied, “That’s how God works sometimes.”

Ed and Brenda Norton raised their two sons in Reading. Ed Norton still lives in the first house he and his wife bought together.

Norton has two grandchildren.

“The type of mask that most of us wear is not protective at all. And these little kids wear them all the time? It’s not good, and it’s not backed up by science. “

—Veteran Ed Norton to Fox News Digital

As his bruises heal, Norton continues to scroll through the memories of his beloved wife. “‘Always be nicer than necessary,’ she said,” Norton said.

His friends and neighbors seem to embrace his motto.

Many support him in his grief. Additionally, her friend, John Vino, takes her to church several times a week and out for lunch.

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Norton had some final thoughts on the masking debates that have raged across the country for two years — and forced masking during the pandemic.

“They created a lot of panic and destroyed relationships,” he said.

“Some people get really dogmatic about masking,” he also said. “I was approached at the grocery store for not wearing a mask.”

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Norton’s good friend John Vino told Fox News Digital, “It’s such a shame that Ed got hurt. He’s someone who always hated wearing the mask.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to Norton’s gym for comment, but did not hear back at press time.


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