By Letter to the Editor on October 24, 2020.
To mask, or not to mask. That seems to be the “operative question” during these days of living with COVID 19.
Given that we do not have a “definitive cure/treatment ” for COVID-19; given that we do not have a vaccine for COVID-19; given that COVID-19 is easily transmissible from one infected person to another; given that people who do not have the “signs of symptoms” of COVID-19 can infect others before they have the “signs and symptoms” of COVID-19; given that simple things like washing your hands, avoiding crowds, practicing physical distancing, and wearing a mask when you can not be assured that physical distancing can be achieved/maintained, have been shown to reduce the spread of “the beast”; the reluctance to wear a mask when “out in public” is troubling.
If you have a medical/physical condition that precludes you from safely wearing a mask/face covering in public, there are “outside the box” alternatives to reduce your need to go out in public, and you are probably in the segment of the population that is most susceptible to having a “severe outcome” should you contract “the beast”, and perhaps shouldn’t be “out and about” unless absolutely necessary.
If you want your local grocery store/pharmacy/gas station/hardware store, bank, retail establishment to be there to serve you, wear a mask when you are in them.
If you want your minister/pastor/priest, doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, pharmacist, hairdresser/barber to be there to serve you, wear a mask. If you want your electrician, plumber, carpenter, mechanic, yard care people, cleaning help to be there to serve you, wear a mask. If you want your child’s school, daycare, day home to be there for your child, wear a mask. If you want the economy to be as open as it is, if you want the economy to thrive, so families can financially survive, wear a mask.
Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you are “weak.” It doesn’t mean you are “acting like a sheep.” It doesn’t mean you are “caving into pressure.” Wearing a mask, to protect those around you is a sign of respect and caring for others. Wearing a mask is part of “treating other people the way you want to be treated” (some refer to this as “the Golden Rule”).
When you see someone wearing a mask, thank them for respecting you enough to take this simple precautionary measure to protect you. Show that you have respect for others by wearing a mask when out in public. Respecting each other, and caring for each other are hallmarks of a civil, functioning society. Let’s demonstrate that we are members of a civil, functioning society. Let’s look out for each others, and do the best we can to ensure that we are treating others they way we want to be treated.