In his Aug. 8 column, Ross Nelson referred to a 2016 article by John Hardie and information from The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, OSHA, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Adams, and two unnamed experts to support his argument that mask use is not supported by science.
Fauci and Adams have explained how their position changed since March. The Hardie article and the information from CIDRAP, the CDC, and OSHA indicated that masks do not effectively protect the wearer. Since the beginning, health officials have said that masks do little to protect the wearer.
In a commentary posted July 22, Dr. Michael Osterholm, the CIDRAP director, stated he supports the wearing of masks by the general public and “[s]top citing CIDRAP and me as grounds to not wear masks.”
Face masks help to minimize the dispersal of particles. Many masks have pockets that hold filters that may further limit the spread of particles. The viral load—or the amount of a virus a person is exposed to—can determine if a person will be infected and can also determine the severity of symptoms. Underlying conditions also can determine how sick a person will get.
There are many unknowns about COVID-19. I believe there is scientific evidence to support wearing masks to limit the spread, and I also have faith in the medical experts and government officials from both parties who support wearing masks as part of responsible practices to slow the spread and reduce case numbers that determine our ability to keep our economy going.
Hopefully, Mr. Nelson will not consider me a “tinpot tyrant” or “nagging ninny,” but I still feel that wearing a mask is more than superstition.