The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Covid has proven to be airborne


December 24, 2020

To The Eagle:

A recent letter was rife with silly misinformation soured by a preening arrogance, sneering at anyone who “has a problem” with those who refuse to wear a mask during this epidemic. That author’s proud declaration “I don’t know squat and I’m independent” speaks volumes. Here’s my opinion on why folks who refuse to wear face masks in public venues are indeed a problem for the rest of us.

We are being urged to diligently wear facial coverings and maintain distance not merely because someone might cough in our face. Covid has proven to be airborne. It is ejected into the air by an infected person’s breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing, after which the virus remains indefinitely suspended in the air waiting to be inhaled by whoever is walking behind them in the grocery store aisle.

Consider the vapor clouds caused by someone breathing or speaking on a very cold day. The clouds of exhaled air we create, if full of viral particles, are suspended in air currents and swirl floating like the dust motes revealed by a beam of sunlight in your home, until they settle onto your furniture, or into your lungs. Folks who equate their refusal to wear a mask with exercising their independence and freedom are perversely exercising “rights” equivalent to drunken driving or routinely speeding through stop signs. It is a malicious endangerment of public health and safety to refuse to wear a facial barrier, the simplest, most effective tool we have to prevent infection. I used to believe that such folk just didn’t understand that fact, but I’m becoming convinced that many uncaring people simply refuse to acknowledge facts and rules that inconvenience them, regardless of the cost to anyone else. Yes, I definitely have a problem with the willful ignorance and callous disregard for the welfare of others, truculently expressed in that reprehensible letter.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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