Wednesday, November 18, 2020
60 F
The Villages

Thoughts about wearing masks

To the Editor:

Wearing a mask has been proven, statistically, by use or non-use in the US States and other countries, to be a deterrent to the spread of COVID-19. No need for “hate mail,” I’m just restating what has actually occurred and been reported by scientists and doctors worldwide. For the U.S., Dr. Fauci, is arguably a reliable non-partisan source. And, our president is on-board with this as well, he said: “wear a mask”. It protects BOTH the person wearing a mask and people in the near vicinity of that person. (Wearing masks, ‘physical distancing’ and hand-washing will reduce the spread of COVID-19 significantly, Fauci, et al.  Further, in my opinion, there is no need to be ‘Socially Distant’, that is, sadly, a misnomer. In fact, being ‘Socially Distant’ is harmful to people. So call/email/text/facetime, etc., your relatives and friends frequently – that is being ‘Social and Close’ and it is good for both you and the person you reach out too.)
However, I digress, yes those masks. There is a huge amount of common sense that can be applied here.
First some facts:
1) the mask needs to to be worn correctly – that means: no gaps and certainly not below the nose;
2) the mask should be treated very carefully – treat it at all times as if the virus is on it; that’s the purpose for it – the virus would be on the outer material. The virus is not a termite, it will not bore through the mask – with high probability it will be on the outer fabric with exceptions of course – there are no absolutes here;
3) carefully remove the mask by the loops and then place it in a plastic bag and close the bag. Leave it in your car or outside. With our 100 degree plus temperatures, the temperature in a bag will be higher, especially in a closed car. (Now, I’m not saying a very high temperature will kill the virus, but it just may help with its demise vs. being in a pocket or on a kitchen table.);
4) sensibly decide where to wear it – all publicly enclosed buildings with AC recirculating the air is a good start;
5) you probably do not need to wear it driving your car or golf cart – unless you think the inside of your car or golf cart is festering with the virus? Then, may as well wear it in the house as well as the virus from  your car/golf cart is also covering your clothes…this thinking quickly degenerates and the whole  becomes unmanageable.
You can decide for yourself the risk/reward in deciding to go to a bar or restaurant. They are known to be higher risk places where wearing a mask is rather impractical. Fauci, yes him again, but he’s been “our guy” since 1984: “I would not go into a restaurant.”Have I been to a restaurant/bar since reopening: Yes. However, that activity has unfortunately been scaled back as the spread increases and Florida becomes the number one “hot spot” (re: common sense); and
6) last, and perhaps the most subjective, do you need to wear it outside? For myself, staying about six feet from other people and with a constant breeze of 3-6 mph (a lot of times higher), the virus will be blown away before it gets to you. Blown where? Somewhere…  This is the reason for there is a  recommendation to wear a mask when outside (around people). Do I wear a mask when walking around Paradise Park, well no, that’s my decision and the risk I am willing to take given there is always some level of a breeze. But then again, it’s Paradise – lol. With that, I’ll end this letter. But not without wishing you all the best in health and happiness.

R. John Larson
Village of Country Club Club Hills

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