Letter to the Editor: Reader asks if it is rude to not wear a face-covering in public during the pandemic

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Volunteers hand out masks at a previous event in Morenci. Recently, the town of Clifton mandated the wearing of face masks while in public.

Dear Editor,

I am dismayed when going out in public in Safford. I see very few face masks being worn. I would guess that less than 5% were actually wearing face masks. Even worse was that the staff at a local restaurant were not wearing face masks.

Many of us have been and are still only focused on not catching COVID-19. The other equally important focus is not spreading COVID-19. It has been reported that there are asymptomatic individuals; being asymptomatic means that you have no symptoms.

It’s possible a large portion of the population could have COVID-19 yet have no symptoms at all. It’s likely that this will occur more often in the healthiest and the younger age groups, including children.
Just because we are feeling fine at the moment, doesn’t mean we aren’t carriers or spreading COVID-19. If we knew we had a contagious illness, we would certainly wear a face mask before visiting our grandparents or other susceptible individuals. Most individuals see wearing a face mask as being a behavior to protect themselves from illness. How many of us think of a face mask as a way to prevent spreading illness?

So now that we know the face masks are a great way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our loved ones and community, I gotta ask myself, “Is it rude not to wear a face mask?”

Sincerely,

Jasmin Gerlach – Safford

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