After reading Mike Trottier’s letter, “To mask or not to mask," I couldn’t help but remember when this all first started.

As a self-proclaimed nerd, I started crunching the numbers and felt like this whole thing was getting overblown and that it would all blow over.

What happened was quiet the opposite.

The truth is, the United States and countries around the world from the start of all of this were covering brand new ground. We were unprepared and frankly Ill-equipped to handle the amount of strain this pandemic put on ourselves and on our health care system.

As it was going, we learned a lot through testing and science. We found out this was not just going to blow over. We found that we did a lot to help flatten the curve with closing, masks and distancing, but there were just so many individuals who ignored the science and recommendations.

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Now we see a record number of cases and people rushing to the hospital again. Everyone wanted so desperately to have their old lives back and missing friends and family. Unfortunately, some paid with their lives or will have health issues forever.

I get it. I’m a fat guy with asthma who really does not want to wear a mask. I do it for my family and my fellow citizens in the area because, frankly, it’s the right/smart thing to do.

Wearing masks, social distancing, and closing the economy are tools in the toolbox. It’s not 100%. No one wants to be going through this. It’s a struggle and one we should not take lightly. Now is the time to help boost our people who struggle economically and mentally as a result of this pandemic. The unemployment benefits and loan programs for small businesses are just the start and need to continue so we can get back on our feet.

Specifically with “To mask or not to mask” there is a reason doctors and nurses wear one every time they help us at our worst because they want to reduce their risk of getting sick.

With something like this, and why COVID-19 is so special, is that you, your best friend, a guy walking down the street can have it and not even know it. It may not effect you. It could dramatically affect you. It could cause permanent health issues or, even worse, take you or someone you love their life.

Isn’t a piece of cloth over your face worth helping out your fellow American? I understand the civil liberties but think of it this way:

The more people that follow the guidelines, the more that can heed your call and vote in November. Does it get more patriotic than that?