Wearing a face mask only requires having a minimal concern for other people

by John Dykers M.D.

Siler City, NC – Chatham Connecting posted on the May 7 Chatham Chatlist about “some experts” recommending wearing face masks in public.

photo by Ani Kolleshi

The recommendation about wearing a face mask in public does not require any expertise. Wearing a mask only requires having at least a minimal concern for the other people in your world. Wearing any reasonable mask slows the movement of the air we breath OUT, or speak OUT, and make the air less likely to carry SARS-CoV-2 to uninfected cells in other people where it can grow and multiply and cause a very miserable illness, COVID19, and death.

We are all potential carriers. It is the carriers who have no symptoms, feel just fine, who shed the most SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID19.

So going in public without a mask simply means you
1. don’t give a damn about anybody else or are
2. ignorant and/or brutish.

If other people shun you and are “standoffish”, don’t be surprised. The rest of us don’t want to have anything to do with you.

Early in the COVID19 pandemic in the United States we were without masks for medical personnel and had to save them for those caring for the seriously ill. Now there are plenty of masks that are reusable/washable and are being made by many folks here in Chatham County. There are masks that tie or stretch behind your head if the ones that loop behind your ears rub or hurt your ears. Buttons on a cap can be rigged easily to fasten the mask. If you are so short of breath that the mask hinders your breathing in, you should likely stay home. So if you don’t wear one when in public, it is your own doing.

Thank you to all employees at essential businesses who wear masks to protect their customers. I recommend that the public not shop or otherwise patronize businesses where everyone in your space does not wear a mask, including other customers. They don’t care about you. Walk away from them and do not hesitate to shun them. Social disapproval does affect behavior.

Masks can be built to filter SARS-CoV-2 from the air we breath IN, so mask MAY help both ways. Don’t over rely on the mask. Maintain six feet at least distance from others, but if they have a mask, do say “Hello” and learn how to smile with our eyes, and be friendly without being close.