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Letter to the editor: Mask up or shut up

Series: Coronavirus | Story 100

Last updated 5/13/2020 at 1:35pm

I am seeing a lot of chatter about COVID-19-naysayers like Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney, who questions the lethality of the virus and has chosen not to carry out any enforcement of the Governor’s stay-at-home order. He is worried that we are being ordered to stay at home in violation of our constitutional rights.

Instead of whining and complaining, it would be better if Fortney got on board and helped people to understand that wearing a mask in public will help all of us pursue our constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Let me offer a little clarity about masks and why you want to wear one now.

There are two kinds of masks: one that will prevent you from inhaling someone else’s COVID-19-infected breath and exhaling your own infected breath and one that will only prevent you from exhaling your infected breath.

The first kind of mask (N-95 is typical example) is what is used by medical workers. We have all been appropriately schooled to make sure our medical workers get first priority for these masks.

The second kind of mask is the one we have been advised to make at home from cloth. “Why bother?” many have asked. The answer is simple: to prevent exhalation of COVID-19 breath. If we don’t breathe it out on other people, they won’t get infected.

When you choose to go out in public with a mask on, you are giving the gift of life to all you encounter by protecting them from you.

When you go out in public without a mask, you are choosing to NOT protect others. If you happen to be an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier then your choice to NOT protect could result in someone else’s death. It is that simple.

Mask up or shut up.

Terry Preshaw



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