Mary Enright: Here’s why to wear a mask in public, regardless of law |

Mary Enright: Here’s why to wear a mask in public, regardless of law

According to the CDC, people over 60 are more susceptible to the coronavirus and have a higher risk of dying from it.

As of June 20, 5,481 Californians had died of the coronavirus. Three-quarters of them were over the age of 60. Over a third of Nevada County residents are over 60.

If you knew you could prevent the spread of COVID-19 to people over 60, would you need a law to act? I think not.

People without symptoms can transmit the coronavirus. Nearly one-half of the spread of the coronavirus may be traced to people without symptoms. This sounds dire but there is something we can do. When in public, we can wear a mask. Masks prevent us from spreading the virus. In view of its asymptomatic transmission, we wear a mask primarily to protect others, not to protect ourselves. If we take no action, up to two million Americans could die from this pandemic.

Yes, we have taken action and yes, the numbers were going down. But the virus is not gone. And until it is gone, the act of wearing a mask to safeguard the lives of others may be the only way we save our own.

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Mary Enright

Nevada City

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