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home : opinion : opinion August 11, 2020

7/18/2020 11:04:00 PM
Wear a Mask, Save a Life!

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

What ever happened to "we're all in this together?" Like just about everything else, we've come to the point where we're politicizing a medical emergency.

Call me a crazy Liberal and a sheepie, but we sheep want to survive, and we want that for you, too.

During World War II, Americans did without driving because rubber (for tires) was needed by the military as was gasoline. They did without sugar and other food items. They considered it their patriotic duty.

I believe that wearing a mask (if you are able) is your patriotic duty during this pandemic.

Several stores including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kohl's and Lowe's have announced that beginning Monday, you'll have to wear a mask (or other face covering) to shop in their stores.

That policy doesn't infringe on your 'rights.' The National Retail Federation issued a statement this past week saying: "Stores are private businesses that can adopt policies permitted by law for the health and safety of their associates and their customers. Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk."

This new policy won't keep people from getting products they need. You can order your groceries and just pick them up without going into the store; some supermarkets offer delivery. Many pharmacies will also deliver. You can have food delivered from most restaurants.

One person posted on Facebook: "Wearing a mask exacerbates my health problems. By the time I got home I was feeling very bad and while I was out I had a very hard time breathing! So I probably won't be going out places where I have to wear a mask unless absolutely necessary."

The truth is, the current North Carolina mandate is called 'Safer at Home' for a reason.

The masks are just one way--and we know now that it's one of the most effective ways--to help slow the spread of the disease. The masks won't totally end the disease spreading, but if EVERYONE covers their nose and mouth while in locations where they are unable to maintain social distancing, it will go a long way toward reducing the spread. Contact with surfaces that have recently been touched by someone who has the disease is still a way the disease can be spread. That's why wiping down the handles of carts before shopping and washing your hands thoroughly and often is still very important.

The masks (and other face coverings) are important because they enable us to get out and about--for shopping, for going to church, for getting a haircut, etc. Without the masks, the spread would likely be increased and that could force a total lockdown to stop the spread.

Even so, staying at home as much as possible is still SAFER than going out--even with a mask.

Readers can post comments on this article on Facebook calling the coronavirus a hoax, arguing with the numbers that have been reported, hollering about their rights. The virus numbers may not be totally accurate--we report what we are provided by agencies that are supposed to be reliable. Even if they aren't 100% accurate, this disease has killed thousands.

If we are going to survive; if we are going to end this pandemic; it is necessary that we be willing to make some sacrifices. This is not the time to argue politics--it is the time to do your part in stopping this disease.

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