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Susquehanna Life

To Mask or Not to Mask? That is the Question

Jun 17, 2020 11:51AM ● By Erica Shames
Conflicting messages from the government, and labels like moving into the green phase, have resulted in varying behavior on the part of the public concerning appropriate COVID-19 protocol.

While some people understand that COVID-19 is still a lethal threat, many people actually think there is no need to exercise caution--that we are out of the woods, and that we have beaten the virus. That is far from the truth. 

Did you know that up to 40 to 45 percent of coronavirus cases can likely be traced to people who spread the virus without ever knowing they were infected? That's according to a new Scripps Research Translational Institute study. 

While they may not outwardly show any signs of illness, asymptomatic people might still carry a potentially lethal burden of infectious virus that can keep the pandemic spreading from person to person.

These findings, medical experts say, support the reason why we have to all still wear masks: nobody knows who is an asymptomatic carrier.

As areas of the country, including Central Pennsylvania, move from red to yellow to green status, there is a tendency for people to think that all is well--that we have licked the coronavirus, according to one health expert. "The fact is, without the care and caution we have all exercised up to now, this thing can still blow up in our face."  

All of which points to the need to still practice social distancing, wear a mask when you are out in public, wash your hands frequently, and exercise a high level of care when interacting with other people. It's vital to the health of all of us.

What can you do to help?

- When you see a sign on the front of a business indicating that wearing a mask is a prerequisite for you to enter the building, please adhere to those restrictions and wear one, or don't enter. 

- When you're standing in line at your favorite ice cream stand--even though you are outside--do everyone a favor and wear a mask.

- Business owners: when customers who are not wearing a mask enter your business, please politely inform them that wearing a mask is not an option, it's the law.  

By following these actions, we have a better chance of keeping ourselves, our friends, our family and our communities safe. 

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