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This Face Mask Is For You …

… the heroes who deliver the goods we need, stock the shelves with those goods, and work the checkouts when we purchase them even while you all are exposing yourselves and families to an increased risk for COVID-19.

It’s for the front line medical workers who stand ready to meet our health needs, exposing themselves more than anyone to the coronavirus.

It’s for the people working behind the scenes to keep the logistics of supplying our country with what it must have to maintain our economic and physical health.

If you frontline workers succumb to the virus, not only will your families lose your financial support, but we the public will suffer the loss of your vital service means to maintaining us with the daily needs of staying alive.

Last month I was scheduled to have a stress test at the hospital. For the six days previous to the test I was to self-isolate. Three days before the test I had to report to the back door of the Carillion Clinic for a COVID-19 screening. It entailed a mildly uncomfortable deep swabbing of each nostril through my open car window by a clinician in protective gear. Three days later, since I tested negative, I was able to enter the hospital, go through its own screening procedure, and take my scheduled test.

All was in reality a minor inconvenience when considering the potential of the devastating outcome to my community if I had carried the pandemic into our local hospital.

Health experts see my mask as not protecting me as much as it lessens the risk of people contracting the coronavirus from me. Wearing a mask is a small concession when realizing how deep the consequences are if the spread of the coronavirus eliminates service and health providers who are risking themselves for the rest of us.

Beyond that, even if I know I remain “coronavirus-free,” I will continue to wear my mask until the crisis is over, even if the months grow into years. I want you who are serving our community so well to know that I respect you and your need and right to stay healthy. It is a responsibility that we all have and should willingly meet. It is support that you deserve.

It is a pledge that all of us should make before we use the services of the establishment that you are working to keep open and viable.

Unfortunately, it is a pledge that not all are willing to make.

Bank robbers wear masks so they won’t be recognized doing something wrong. Not wearing my mask during this highly contagious pandemic would show everyone that I arrogantly disrespect their wellbeing. Refusal to wear a mask is a disregard for the safety and health of others, not just those whose welfare is essential to my own welfare, but for those friends, loved ones, and strangers I meet as I pass around my community. Studies suggest that the majority of those who refuse to wear face masks are resistant to authority and don’t like being bossed around. They want to be independent and unfettered by others.

The bare faces at Trump’s latest campaign rallies seem to indicate that the majority who refuse to wear face masks are Trump supporters, in fealty taking their lead from his refusal to wear a mask.

Strange because those rallies follow recordings of Trump telling Bob Woodward back in a Feb. 7 phone interview, “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed ... It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu ... This is deadly stuff.”

Are they still ignoring the facts and the health experts? Are they still believing Trump’s contradictory lie that followed three weeks later when he said, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear”?

Or the lie that the pandemic was a hoax of the Democratic Party to embarrass him, a feat he needs no help in accomplishing on his own?

Trump promised earlier on a state visit to India on Feb. 25 that a vaccine would be available soon. “Now they have it, they have studied it, they know very much, in fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”

That empty, false promise was seven months ago.

Now he promises there will be a vaccine by a very special date. The hint is Election Day. Why? Because the gullible who go to the polls that day can’t change their vote afterwards when they finally realize he’s lied to them again and defrauded them of their vote.

I realize those who refuse to wear a mask do so because they want to make a political statement against the oppressiveness of the state. It’s just like an athlete who takes a knee during the national anthem to make a statement against racial injustice. Only, going mask-less threatens the health and lives of others. Kneeling during the national anthem only threatens the backward thinking of those who believe that equal justice exists for all.

Like Trump, they refuse to “drink the Kool-Aid”! Ironically, they might just drink his bleach.

The News-Gazette

The News-Gazette Corp.
P.O. Box 1153
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3113

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