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Zlupko delivers important message

I am writing to thank local pulmonologist Dr. George Zlupko for his statements on the COVID-19 crisis, printed in the Mirror on Aug. 11.

Zlupko’s comments on the severity and validity of the COVID-19 pandemic were accurate and appreciated. In particular, he highlighted the importance of the most proven means of slowing the spread of the virus — wearing masks in public.

My niece recently had the virus. She is in her 20s, and despite otherwise being in good health, she underwent significant misery after infection.

Visitors from other cities experiencing this virus are stunned at how many of us they see about without masks.

There is no reasonable doubt among medical professionals that masks reduce the spread of this horrible disease. As a nurse practitioner, I am required to keep my patients safe. The only way I can protect them is by wearing a mask in public.

I believe in civil liberties, but I also believe it is no one’s right to endanger others by neglecting basic principles of health. If we don’t take immediate steps toward improving our disease-control behaviors, many more of us will become sick. Some will die.

Our refusal to wear masks will ultimately result in another shutdown, but with far fewer safety nets in place for local businesses and individuals. Anyone who wants to see our county grow and prosper through this crisis just needs to wear a mask. It is that simple.

If you refuse to wear a mask for your own safety, I beg that you consider wearing one for my patients, my family and myself.

To quote Dr. Zlupko, “It has to be done, and it will not last forever.”

Lynn Thompson-Gregory

Hollidaysburg

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