A few days ago I was at D & B Supply in Ontario. It was very busy, very few people were observing social distancing, and very few people were wearing a mask. Mostly, the attitude at D & B, of the customers and the staff, was “the hell with this, I don’t want to wear a mask, I don’t need to ‘social distance,’ because it’s my RIGHT not to”. Of course, they don’t think they are being unreasonable. I also know that just wearing a mask may not prevent me from getting COVID-19.

However, wearing a mask shows that I care about my community. Science shows that if the whole community wears a mask and practices social distancing, the overall transmission of COVID-19 is reduced. To me, that means fewer people will die if I wear a mask. Sure, wearing a mask feels silly, wearing a mask looks funny, and wearing a mask acknowledges my vulnerability to this disease. But that’s okay. Because I know that wearing a mask is better for the community. Why are so many people convinced that they must show their independence by not wearing a mask? Why are so many members of our community willing to risk the death of family members, friends, and neighbors just because they think wearing a mask is silly? I just don’t get it. Go read the John’s Hopkins University Corona Virus Resource Center website. Look at the numbers. Almost 1 million people in the United States have COVID-19 and more than 56,386 people have died in the U.S. Those deaths have happened in the last 60 days. Not the past year, just the past 60 days. And thousands of people in the U.S. will die today. For the good of all of us, observe social distancing. Wear a mask.

Deborah Schmid,

Fruitland

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