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Mitigation of COVID-19 risks important

OK. I’m taking the bait to, “We challenge anyone to explain how allowing customers to go to these businesses poses any more of a danger than allowing those same people to go to a big-box retailer,” as presented in the May 20 editorial “It’s time to treat us like adults.”

The answer is as clear as mud to people who are imitating the president of the United States who called the pandemic a hoax, did not use the powers of the presidency to mandate the production of protective equipment, etc., for workers on the front lines exposed to and or caring for the sick, and who, until closely connected staff were diagnosed with COVID-19, would not don a mask.

Expectations have to be made so people with the most limited capacity for knowledge and understanding, who have the ability to reason and with commitment of the will, do what is required to mitigate risk of sickness and death.

That is something that must not change in all and every thing we do: Mitigate the risks of sickness and death during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Staying at home, social distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing, seeking treatment and getting tested are critical practices to containing the spread of a communicable disease.

These practices are not enforceable as was witness by a person in Blair County who encountered a woman in Sheetz, then in Martin’s without a mask.

The appearance of the woman deterred speaking to her for fear the woman would assault her.

With no actual laws in place and the voice of authority for our country refusing to wear a mask, it’s no wonder store owners refuse to take on the role of policing when dealing with people who are imitating the president of the United States.

With the importance of attitude and compliance established, look at the science involved; at least what is understood at this time.

Here’s a simple experiment: Hold a mirror up to your mouth and breathe on it. The mirror will have moisture on it likened to steam. That moisture is how viruses catch a ride out of the body. That moisture is the droplets.

Now put your hand about 6 inches from your mouth and breathe or talk to someone. During normal breathing and talking, an infected asymptomatic person is capable of sending copious amounts of the virus into an area. While ordinary masks offer a barrier to moisture, you’re still breathing.

And how many people wear a mask but their nose is exposed?

Now think about the size of a beauty salon compared to Lowe’s. It’s about space.

The smaller the space in height, width and depth the greater concentration of exhale air in the room. Also, a hairdresser or barber is in direct contact with a customer for an extended period of time in which there is a constant outflow of air through masks.

Multiply the number of staff and customers in a small space, and you have an incubator.

That’s why testing and tracing are so important.

The deficiency in those areas falls at the feet of President Donald Trump, and I find it troubling that Congressman John Joyce isn’t owning up to it.

In fact, as a medical doctor, he should respond. Should the upswing in cases continue in Blair County — eight new ones in the last week — will he take responsibility?

The hurry to lift restrictions won’t mean a thing to the sickened or dead.

Of additional concern is for the unborn who may be impacted by the virus during pregnancy. Many viral infections are known to have a resulting complication (sequela).

There is so much to lose if the efforts to mitigate the risks of sickness and death from COVID-19 is downplayed for profit.

With a $2.2 trillion relief fund and a $252 million pandemic emergency fund, no business or family should be worrying about sustainability. But when there’s no accountable oversight of the funds, who knows who will get what?

Etta Albright resides in Cresson.

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