Letters to the editor

Masks as medicine

Editor: We have the medicine we need to slow the coronavirus. As we wait for COVID-19 vaccine and drug therapies, we have powerful tools to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. Washing hands, social distancing and mask wearing all slow the spread of the virus.

While we normally do not think of physical barriers and actions as preventative medicine, these are the tools we have available today. These are simple, effective, affordable and accessible tools in slowing the spread of coronavirus. They do not have side effects and have limited environmental impacts. They are being employed at a global level to slow the virus.

Economic research has shown that a national mask mandate would save 5% of the GDP. To support our economy, keep our schools open and maintain quality health care, wash hands, wear a mask and social distance. The pandemic has had a significant, long term economic and social impact on all Americans. The pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed and reduced state and local budgets which will cause cuts in social, medical and infrastructure programs. The pandemic has closed schools, increasing the burden on working parents and compromising the education of American children.

Let's not amplify these economic and social costs. Use the tools available today to save money, jobs and lives tomorrow.

Kate Haug

Sebastopol

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