Home Opinion Dear Editor Letter: Wearing a mask shows you’re careful and you care

Letter: Wearing a mask shows you’re careful and you care

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The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people cover their nose and mouth when in public. As a physician this comes as no surprise. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and masks have always been useful in preventing the spread of germs. Many of the precautions we take in daily life, and particularly in medicine, turn out to be “unnecessary.” We wear seatbelts even though we most likely won’t have an accident today. The technician who draws your blood wears gloves, even though you most likely don’t have hepatitis or HIV, etc. We would all feel uncomfortable having blood drawn by someone who wasn’t wearing gloves, because that would send a signal that perhaps this person was not being as careful as they should.

And returning to masks, that’s the real point. When you go into a store and see all the employees wearing masks it sends a message that they are trying to be as careful as possible, and that they are probably also being careful in the areas you can’t see. And when customers are wearing masks it is a sign of courtesy — to the hardworking staff and to other customers, especially us “older” folks.

COVID-19 is miserable and has negatively impacted almost everyone. None of us wanted to have to deal with it, but here it is. In life we sometimes face situations in which we have no “good” choices. We can still, however, make good decisions. At this point wearing a mask in public is a good decision. There is no downside risk to wearing a mask. It’s an act of solidarity and courtesy, letting everyone know you are trying to be respectful, smart and safe.

Wishing everyone good health.

Richard J. Sidd, M.D.

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