March 22. 2022
I’m writing to you today, concerned about our future with this virus, as a neighbor and a friend. I write this an individual, and not as a council member; my comments are my own and not representative of the city council as a whole.
As the stay-at-home mandate grew in length, I called for more and more exceptions. Sure–there would be things we couldn’t go back to until a vaccine, but for all others, I was eager to figure out what needed to be done differently–and then get on to doing it. Returning to some freedoms could give our mental health and financial well-being an opportunity to survive this too.
Some freedoms returned, but this happened without the populace sold on their role in upholding the recovery. Today’s rising case numbers are alarming and will lead us back to lock down again unless we learn our role and take responsibility for it.
Neutral and trusted sources such as The Johns Hopkins University website and www.erinbromage.com sum it up as follows: Social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and exercising good hand hygiene, taken together and universally embraced, are the key to our recovery.
Here are the facts behind the summary:
- A mask protects others from receiving the COVID-19 virus from the person wearing it (more so than protecting the wearer from the germs of others). When we all wear masks, we protect each other.
- This issue has similarities to that of smoking in public places; we have to weigh the rights of the smoker versus the right of those around them to avoid the known risks of secondhand smoke. So while it is true that healthy people do not spread the virus to others, the fact that many people who contract the virus are asymptomatic means that we (and they) do not know who is healthy and who is not.
- Medical professionals have used facial coverings for many decades with no issues relating to carbon dioxide inhalation.
- It is important to wash your facial coverings daily and to wear them properly, covering the nose and mouth.
- Some people (including the very young and those with certain health conditions) cannot wear facial coverings.
- Our businesses need to be able to stay open. If case numbers cause us to return to Phase 1, non-essential businesses will again close.
With the reasonable and prudent actions of 6-foot social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and exercising good hand hygiene, we can keep people safe without returning to lockdown. We ALL have responsibility and a role to play in controlling infectious disease.
One more small ask…. Smile behind your mask when you see others doing their part. We could all use a little positivity.
Together, we will put the pandemic behind us.