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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Please put on the mask

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Please put on the mask

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Please put on the mask

The governor started relaxing public health restrictions on May 22, even though we had not met any of the CDC guidelines. That week, SC DHEC reported 1,285 new cases and many physicians warned the numbers would balloon.

Over the past four weeks, SC DHEC reported 1,743, 2,401, 4,535, and 5,924 new cases (each week) when the true incidence is probably three to 10 times higher, depending on the county. And the U.S. death toll, which crossed 50,000 on April 24, crossed 125,000 on June 25.

We can’t keep kidding ourselves: Our risk has never been higher, and the choice isn’t between public health and the economy. To improve the economy, we must control the virus, which probably won’t happen until we have a vaccine. In the meantime, with rare exception, I have worn a mask in public to protect myself and because I could have the virus, not know it, and I could cause your illness, suffering and death.

Face masks can save your life and you could have the virus, not know it, and your swath of mayhem would make a serial killer jealous. Therefore, we ask you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but many refuse based on freedom, as if they have the Constitutional right to spray lethal virus particles across the grocery store like 9mm rounds. They don’t.

For our protection, South Carolina should make face masks mandatory in public spaces until the vaccine is proven effective based on this analogy: You would never drive 70 mph in a school zone (or intentionally spread a lethal disease), but we need mandatory traffic laws (and public health laws) because some people are proudly irresponsible.

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