Editorial: Wear a mask. It's not hard

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and other health experts urge people to wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and other health experts urge people to wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Associated Press File Photo

 
Updated 1/3/2021 12:17 PM

Another in an Opinion series

Daily Herald Editorial Board

 

Get on the computer and do a search for "people who died because people didn't wear a mask" and your search engine will bring back a lengthy supply of anecdotal examples.

For instance, Patrica McWaters, 78, and her husband Leslie, 75, who both died on Nov. 24 in Jackson, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press.

She was a registered nurse. He was a retired truck driver. They apparently contracted COVID-19 after going out to eat.

Their daughter told The Washington Post that after they got sick, they regretted that they had not been more careful. But it wasn't just their inattentiveness that cost them their lives. Their daughter said that others in the restaurant they visited went without masks and passed nonchalantly by their table.

Richard Rose, a 37-year-old Army veteran from Clinton, Ohio, died in July after leaving a Facebook post in April that said, "Let's make this clear. I'm not buying a (expletive) mask. I've made it this far by not buying into that damn hype," cleveland19.com reported.

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Thomas Macias, 51, a truck driver from of Los Angeles, had tried to exercise caution in response to the pandemic, but in June, he let down his guard and attended a party. The day before he died of COVID-19, NBC News reported, he posted his regrets on Facebook: "This is no joke. If you have to go out, wear a mask and practice social distancing."

Joseph Hinton, a 78-year-old Air Force veteran from Northport, Alabama, did not believe in wearing masks and ended up dying in panic and agony after being infected with the coronavirus in June, his daughter Amy told ABC 33/40 News in Birmingham. "I don't understand why it's so inconvenient to wear a mask if we know that can help stop the spread," she said.

These all are tragedies. One of the saddest tragedies of the 2020 pandemic is that it's easy to turn up more. Doesn't take a lot of research.

Sadder still is how preventable so many of the hundreds of thousands of pandemic heartbreaks have been.

Wear a mask.

That's not a novel idea. We have encouraged it in this space many times. More significantly, health experts have banged the drum on it repeatedly throughout the past year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And still, we encounter people in the community going without masks. Maybe fewer than there used to be, but still too many.

Wear a mask.

The vaccine is on our doorsteps. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Make it to the end of that tunnel. Help your loved ones and friends and acquaintances and, for that matter, strangers get there.

Wear a mask.

This is not religion. It is not a matter of believing or not believing in masks. It is a matter of the scientific research that strongly indicates your risk of contracting the virus is higher and your risk of spreading it is much higher if you do not wear a mask.

Wear a mask.

This is not a matter of liberty, any more than wearing a seat belt is a matter of liberty. It is a matter of civic responsibility. It is your contribution to the good of the community. It is an act of patriotism.

Wear a mask.

Instead of spreading disease, spread love.

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