Letter: Wearing a mask is not about you, it’s about us


This is a letter to all those who think that their liberty is being impaired by having to wear a mask during this pandemic.

First of all, as many as 40% of people infected with coronavirus do not have symptoms, but can still transmit the disease.

Second, the virus is transmitted on the moisture we expel from our lungs when we breathe, talk, laugh, shout, sing or cheer.

Third, the most common mask that people wear — made from disposable pleated paper — are called surgical masks. As the name implies a surgeon wears a mask to keep from breathing any germs he may have into the open incision into the patient’s body. He/she is not worried about getting anything from the patient.

Fourth, the reason we all should be wearing masks if we are among others is so we do not knowingly or unknowingly give the virus to other people, including people we don’t know.

The sooner we all wear masks, social distance and wash hands frequently, the sooner we will be able to safely go about our lives until a vaccine is produced and we are inoculated.

The English philosopher and political economist, John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) who was a champion of individual liberty said, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

In exercising your liberty, you do not have the right to make grandpa, retail employees, your neighbors or others sick with a very nasty disease that might prove fatal.

Please realize this is not about you, it is about us — all of us.

Marcia Nelson

Oak Harbor