To the editor, 

I’d like to add my two cents on public mask wearing. I haven’t done so yet, except for doctor appointments for a physical and another for an eye exam. And I’m in the group of high risk people due to age and heart problems. the reason: there is simply no strong scientific evidence that wearing a mask in public is effective. Realistically, if flatulence can be easily detected after being filtered through your undergarments and a pair of heavy jeans, what is there to stop viruses from getting through a mask? 

The following better explains my position: A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that surgical masks were as effective as N95 respirators at preventing flu, which is to say, not at all that effective because, of 446 nurses who took part in this study, nearly one in four (24%) in the surgical mask group still got the flu as did 23% of those who wore the N95 respirator. 

And, because both groups wore masks, it’s impossible to say how they would have fared compared with not wearing masks at all.

 Basically, there is no strong evidence to support well people wearing surgical masks in public. Or as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put it: “No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complication, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses.” The best thing you can do to stop getting the flu is to regularly wash your hands, and try to avoid touching your face. (From an article published Oct. 17, 2019 by Manal Mohammed, The Conversation)

In conclusion, if wearing a mask makes you feel better, more superior or whatever, go for it. I don’t care. Just don’t make me wear one in public places. I’ll continue to trust the Lord to get me through this pandemic.

Phil Halvorson


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