Letter to the editor: Mask Hysteria

Recently, the news reports people are getting into physical confrontations because someone is not wearing a face mask. This mask hysteria is unnecessary. When the coronavirus first appeared in the US, public health officials said the virus was primarily spread by touching contaminated surfaces, then touching your face, spreading the contamination to your mouth , nose or eyes. They said the best way to avoid getting sick was to wash your hands often and to avoid touching your face. For weeks, they said masks were not necessary. Eventually, the public health officials offered a tepid recommendation for people to wear cloth face masks. However, the officials knew that cloth masks are not effective for blocking the virus. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post, 4/04/20:
“Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement…. “While we don’t have evidence that a cloth mask protects you from acquiring the virus, the science suggests it will help prevent you from spreading it to others—a key way to protect the most vulnerable, slow the spread, and save lives…” He added, “Masks help prevent people from sharing illnesses. But, they don’t do a great job at keeping people from getting sick; and, they’re not foolproof.”
The bottom line here is a cloth face mask does not offer any real protection. They may afford some psychological comfort for those who choose to wear them, but please don’t try to force us to use them if we don’t want to.
Glenn Baird,


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