Dear Editor,

Wearing masks over one’s mouth and nose is one way to protect oneself from the novel coronavirus COVID-19, because the virus inhabits the droplets of moisture in the airways and the mouth. That isn’t fake news or politics; it is hard science. The virus doesn’t care if you think Trump is God’s gift or if you think he is the spawn of Satan. It’s a virus. It doesn’t think. It exists to replicates, and it can’t do that without an entry point into your body or someone else’s body. Masks worn properly decrease that risk of that entry. It is a very nasty virus that has killed over 100,000 people in this country and many more thousands around the world. Just because one isn’t sick, doesn’t mean one is not positive.

To those checkers in grocery stores and to other workers in retail/service venues, please wear your masks, and wear them properly. That means up over mouths and up over your noses — way up over your noses. It does you and your family, your customers, and your customers’ families no good if you cover only your mouth, or cover your mouth and only the tip of your nose. When your customer asks you to pull your mask up, don’t roll your eyes and say “whatever,” and ignore the request. Don’t give a speech about fogging up your glasses or say “Doesn’t do any good now, we should have done it 6 weeks ago.” Your customer doesn’t care about your excuses. Pull up your mask. Use your brain. Go online and read the suggestions about how to keep your glasses reasonably clear. It is your responsibility to follow guidelines based on science. Think about the vulnerable populations of children and elders.

To those managers, please instruct your staff to wear their masks properly and hold staff accountable. Otherwise your once loyal customers may choose to shop elsewhere or to shop online.

And customers, don’t be afraid to ask the checker to wear the mask properly. It’s your money being spent in the store, and it is your health and the health of your family.

Marsha Armstrong, RN, MN, retired,


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