To the editor:
In recent days I have been dismayed to see the majority of people in downtown areas not wearing face coverings of any kind both when outside and inside businesses and gathering freely in groups.
With businesses, the situation varies from careful adherence to CDC guidelines which state that everyone should maintain social distancing and wear masks both inside and out, to blatant disregard of them.
Bravo to stores like Green Lake Mercantile and Sassafras Coffee Shop which require masks for entrance, and to Boerson Farms whose employees wear masks and which spaces out places for customers to wait at the Farmers’ Market.
But at others, such as Crossroads, on numerous occasions I have seen no employees wearing masks, and many customers without them as well, and that in an establishment whose product is the food we eat! Contrast that with Websters in Ripon, where all employees wear masks, and which counts the number entering, and offers gloves to customers.
Consider that 21 states which relaxed restrictions early, as Wisconsin did, have experienced big increases in new cases of Covid 19, and in our own state cases continue to rise, with new ones reported daily.
Our country’s chief infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci calls Covid 19 his “worst nightmare”: it has no cure, is highly contagious, and kills. Compared to AIDS, he said the latter was “really simple compared to what’s going on with Covid 19.”
Last week the Washington Post reported that a new study showed that widespread use of face masks could prevent a 2nd wave of infections, and that wearing a face mask in public at all times is twice as effective in curbing the spread of the virus as wearing the mask only after symptoms appear.
And remember that a person like you could have no symptoms at all but have the virus and be able to transmit it for up to two weeks before any symptoms appear!
A study by the World Health Organization found that masks protect both the wearer and those with whom they come in contact. So not only are you protecting others from the virus should you have it, but you are protecting yourself.
Of course we’ve all been cooped up for weeks now, and with the nice weather, it’s all too tempting to reason that the crisis is over, and caution is no longer needed.
But if we take that attitude the virus may be here for months to come, and a second wave with another stay at home order may be the result.
So please stay the course. You’ll be glad we did.
— Jeannette Kreston