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Letter to editor: Love your neighbor and wear a mask

To the editor:

I do my best to practice the teaching of Jesus who commanded us to love one another as Jesus loves us all. I continue to be distressed to see people in public refuse to do the simple loving action of wearing a face mask in public. In times of public health emergencies, we must come together as one to work together to prevent widespread illness, death and economic destruction.

We know for a fact that the COVID-19 virus can infect us and yet we can have no symptoms, but still be contagious We know for a fact that in the early days of infection, we are most contagious. We know for a fact that other countries have successfully slowed the spread of COVID-19 and restored their economics much more effectively than America has done because they were willing to do the three simple things that save lives. We know for a fact that this virus can cause permanent brain, heart and lung damage.

America has 5% of the world’s population, but more than 20 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 in the world. We have lost more innocent American lives to this disease than any other country. Since we are facing a national public health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that wearing a mask, frequent washing or sanitizing our hands, and staying at least six feet away from other people does slow down the infection rate that can overwhelm our health care providers and facilities. If the ICUs fill up with COVID-19 patients, there is no bed available for your grandfather who had a heart attack or your grandmother who had a stroke, or your child who was badly injured in a car wreck. Love your neighbor and please wear a mask in public.

Some people have tried to compare the current pandemic to a hurricane over which we have no control, and I need to point out the false narrative here. The ways they are similar are that we can see both of them coming and we can prepare. We can evacuate ourselves from the path of danger by wearing a mask, staying home as much as possible, sanitizing frequently, and not going into public if we are sick. We can know that we are all in this together and it is going to be difficult, deadly and expensive.

What is the most disturbing is that our federal government did know, and failed to notify all Americans of the Category 5 hurricane coming right at us in time for us to prepare. Sen. Richard Burr did tell his wealthiest donors, but not all North Carolinians. Our federal government has downplayed the Category 5 hurricane coming right at us so many of us felt no need to evacuate or follow common sense public health recommendations. Our federal government has been hosting hurricane parties, aka campaign rallies, and spreading the damage around the country. We need a federal government that will unify all the people in America, and that will put common sense and compassion front and center and above the noise of those who feel like what they do in public is not a threat to all Americans and our economy.

Vote as if your life depends upon it because it does.

Love your neighbor and please wear a mask in public.

Bonnie D. Clark,     Harmony