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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Put on a mask

  • Author: Mark Lovegreen
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 6
  • Published July 6

So now wearing a mask while in public spaces is controversial. Really? There are studies showing that transmission of the COVID-19 virus is significantly reduced when mask wearing is prevalent. Studies using both experimental and empirical evidence show the effectiveness of this simple act. Consider that the mask a surgeon wears isn’t necessarily of the N95 variety. She wears the mask not because she’s worried about the patient infecting her, she’s worried about microscopic droplets in her breath infecting the patient in her care. Would you allow her to operate on you if you knew she wasn’t going to take the precaution of wearing a mask?

But the psychology here is interesting. The non-maskers often talk of their rights being trampled on if they’re required to wear a mask. Remember when laws dictating the wearing of a shoulder and lap restraints when driving were controversial? Now how many feel safe if they haven’t buckled up? These laws have saved tens of thousands of lives, perhaps yours or a loved one’s.

Consider the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” signs that are prevalent in the windows of businesses in warm coastal communities. Are there protests over this requirement? Not that I’m aware of, and any health risks associated with patronizing a business bare-chested or free of flip-flops pales in comparison to the potential danger unmasked customers pose to their fellow customers.

So what if our infection numbers begin to rise as they are in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma — to name the states where the infection rate rises are most prevalent — and a new crackdown on venturing out is implemented? It will need to be far more onerous than what we experienced in March and April, because the virus will be much more widespread. If you think businesses are suffering now, just allow the infection rate to begin rising significantly. The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,” couldn’t be more relevant than it is today when it comes to whether or not to wear a mask.

— Mark Lovegreen

Anchorage

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