Letter: Wearing a mask is an exercise in basic human decency | SteamboatToday.com
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Letter: Wearing a mask is an exercise in basic human decency

Early on in this pandemic, there was mixed messaging about the efficacy of wearing a mask. But as it is with many things science doesn’t understand early on, conclusions have shifted.

We now have well-researched, compelling evidence from across the globe that says wearing a face covering in public helps reduce the transmission of COVID-19. UC Berkeley and Hong Kong University, in a collaborative study, found that if 80% of a population were to wear some sort of protective mask, coronavirus infection rates drop to 1/12 of what’s seen in populations where no masks are worn. There are other similar studies.

Long story short, masks work.

Some say that any government regulation mandating masks be worn in public somehow amounts to tyranny. To that, I say: Wearing a mask is part of our social contract, and barring any actual preexisting medical conditions, there’s no excuse for not getting on board. For the absurdly low price of putting a piece of cloth over your face in public places, you’re actively contributing to slowing the spread of a virus that continues to ravage its way through our country.

We stop at red lights, drive on the right side of the street and wear seatbelts. We don’t drink and drive or yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. Those things constitute both the law and an exercise in basic human decency.

Wearing a mask is similarly about the collective safety of our communities. The more people that participate, the safer we all are. With a virus known for its ability to spread asymptomatically, every mask matters. 

The spread of the disease over the coming months is projected to be severe. And to make matters worse, a number of people are choosing not to wear a mask. Some seem to believe that now that it is beautiful outside, and vacation time is here, that the virus has magically disappeared or the threat was a hoax all along.

Just because things are opening up does not mean that the risk of COVID-19 has diminished. 

The governor has said that there is a requirement to wear a mask. I encourage our Routt County Board of Commissioners to continue with the mask requirement, in line with our governor’s office. Let’s stick with the science. 

Nancy Spillane
Oak Creek


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