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LETTER: Please wear a mask when you are out and about

Before March of this year, on any given day you could find me around the corner or around the country. Being out in the world was an important part of my identity, but the coronavirus has changed all that. As an African-American woman with a compromised immune system, for the first time in my life I am afraid to leave my house. I had not ventured out for weeks until my doctor ordered a blood test. I headed out with my mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and a ton of apprehension.

When I arrived at the lab, I encountered a security guard telling two maskless people, clearly over the age of 65, that they would have to wear a mouth covering if they wanted to stay. They mocked the guard, who was simply doing his job, then looked at me as if I were a freak as they grumbled their way out the door.

As if the virus isn’t scary enough, now we have to contend with mindless, maskless fools who think their right to do what they want trumps our right to live. Apparently, these people don’t care that more than 80,000 of our fellow Americans have lost their lives to this invisible enemy. These people don’t seem to understand that they may have the virus without any symptoms and could be unwittingly passing it on to others.

These maskless morons walk around as though they are invincible and the virus is a hoax. Do they think the rest of us are masquerading in masks for the hell of it? So much for “we are all in this together.” It looks more like every man and woman for themselves.

They want to go back to their lives and livelihoods. They are not alone. We can restart our economy in a safe, sane and humane manner. Those of us who are following the CDC guidelines want to protect our fellow Americans. Shut your mouth and put on a mask. At this moment in history, nothing could be more patriotic than that.

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