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Please think of others and wear a mask

This is in response to Ms. Eisenbach’s letter, “Life is not without risks” (TGI Forum, Wednesday, Sept. 16).

You ask the question, why do you need to wear a mask? You ask, “If the person you may be talking to is wearing one why would you need to wear one?” The answer to this question has been around for a very long time now: I wear a mask to protect you, you wear a mask to protect me. My wearing a mask does not protect me from the virus-carrying droplets that you could potentially be expelling. Your mask protects me from being exposed to the the droplets you expel even when just talking to me You could be carrying the virus and be completely unaware that you are. Both presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission is possible, even common.

Yes, we are all extremely grateful that Kaua‘i has remained nearly-virus-free, and at this time we have no active cases. However, we have recently had 1,400 people arrive on island who needed to quarantine, and every week we probably get about that number of people again.

Everyone doesn’t always follow quarantine, and even those who do could be asymptomatic once allowed to leave their lodging. People are coming to this island every day from all over. It only takes one. Our mayor and his team have done an awesome job to protect us all, and he has pleaded with all of us to WEAR MASKS. We only need look at Israel, which reopened and returned to “NORMAL LIFE,” with an abandonment of caution that allowed cases and deaths to climb steadily.

It’s about being considerate of others, especially our health-care workers, who I have seen repeatedly begging people to wear masks. When people do not wear masks they put the health-care workers and all of us at greater risk.

If everyone would wear masks, we would get this virus under control like many other nations around the globe have been able to do because they have had a central mandate to wear masks. Even if only 80% of people would wear masks we could save thousands of lives nationwide within the next month.

Reality check — VIRUSES DO NOT COME AND GO. They may subside for a period of time, but once here they are here to stay. Polio is a virus. It is under control now because we were all vaccinated as children. Smallpox, influenza, Ebola, rabies, Dengue, herpes, HIV AIDS are all viruses, just to name some. They have NOT gone away. They are being managed as best they can.

This line of thinking that wearing a mask infringes on your freedoms is ridiculous. Are you OK with me driving on the wrong side of the road or not stopping at stop lights, or, hey, running around naked in the grocery store? Don’t those rules/laws against those things also infringe upon our freedoms?

We have many rules/laws that have been in place for a very long time that we all abide by for the sake of the safety of all. Would you advocate for allowing people be able to drink and drive so as not to infringe upon their freedom? Don’t the rest of us have a right to feel safe.

IT’S A MASK!!! It’s the one thing that we have strong evidence for that helps lower the infection rate. Please think of others.

Those people who want to open up the economy but refuse to wear a mask are THE primary reason why we are not opening up the economy. You want your business back, WEAR A MASK.


Evelyn Harris is a resident of Kilauea.
Source: The Garden Island

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