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Wearing a Mask Protects Others From Coronavirus

Wearing a Mask Protects Others From Coronavirus
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Published on June 1, 2020

I protect you, you protect me. What’s the problem? 

There is a lot to learn about controlling the coronavirus in our society and limiting the spread from person to person. One strong recommendation is to keep our distance from one another and wear a mask when we are closer than six feet apart. 

I wear a mask whenever I am outside and only slide it down when I am on a bike ride or run and not near others. But people in my city are very variable about this, as they are across the United States. How come?

As someone living with two blood cancers that compromise my immunity, I am very conscious of protecting others and hoping they will protect me and anyone else who is vulnerable to the virus and severe complications. This is a two-way street. I simply do not understand why so many people are resistant to having a mask and wearing it when needed to make the community they are in, or visiting, safer.

Wearing a mask has nothing to do with “opening up” or the economy. It has everything to do with a simple act to have a community fight back against the virus and to limit its effect. It is not political. It is smart and should be a symbol of Americans working together.

I have not started saying anything to neighbors who pass not wearing masks. But I have called City Hall to ask about enforcement of county rules that require masks. No response. It shouldn’t be so hard. If your husband or wife, mother or father, or even child was standing in front of you and you knew your breath or cough could make them seriously ill, wouldn’t you want to protect them? It should be the same for you and the people next door or who pass you by.

Given that many, many people may have the virus and are capable of spreading it without knowing they are even infected, wearing a mask makes sense. I am hoping people will start “getting it” and not see this requirement as any infringement on their personal freedom, but rather an urgent need to protect others as others would protect them.

I welcome your comments at

~Andrew Schorr

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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