Please come together, wear masks

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mayor Greer for taking the unpopular but necessary action on mandatory masks. Much has been written on this topic, but those who oppose masks tend to focus on the benefit for the uninfected person who wears the mask.

It is true that the person wearing the mask is not fully protected from infection. But the point often missed is this — when an infected person wears a mask, it clearly reduces the transmission of the virus to others. This is important because many people who are infected don’t know it. Thus, wearing a mask does more to protect others than oneself.

Masks are not 100 percent effective, but very few things in life are. And yes, if you cherry-pick certain studies, you can convince yourself that masks are completely worthless. However, the totality of the data suggests otherwise. The vast majority of experts have concluded that if everyone wears a mask in public places, it suppresses the spread of the disease within the community, which in turn reduces the burden on our hospitals and the number of people who die.

I am not an authority on infectious disease, but I believe in institutions like the CDC and AMA. They are led by the world’s top physicians and scientists. Their only agenda is to reduce the number of people who suffer from this disease. The nation’s experts and leaders are asking us for a relatively small sacrifice. They aren’t asking us to send our firstborn to war, or even to pay more taxes. They are only asking us to wear a mask in public places for a few more months. I hope that my fellow citizens can set aside their differences long enough to come together and grant this very simple request.


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