Letter: Wearing a mask matters

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Heather Miller, administrator for the West Jordan Care Center, leans back as the Utah Department of Health tests staff for the coronavirus on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The testing is part of a plan to test staff at all long-term care facilities, with centers for memory patients and the intellectually disabled receiving priority.

There were 63,201 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. on July 19. I was one of them.

While working from home, the company I work for began offering weekly, voluntary testing for the virus. I signed up more out of curiosity, thinking that I, surely, would not be one of the unlucky ones who catches it. I never expected to get the frightening phone call that my test result was positive. I haven’t had any contact with anyone showing any symptoms, I wash my hands frequently, avoid crowds and indoor spaces, try to maintain 6 feet of space from other people, and wear a mask whenever I go out. I like to run and stay physically fit, and have never had any serious medical conditions. I have no symptoms of COVID and, thankfully, continue to feel physically normal. I had no reason to get tested, other than a box with a test kit showed up at my door once a week.

How many more are there like me? How many people are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers of the virus? How many cases, illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths can be prevented by wearing a mask? How many people have I prevented from infection by wearing a mask in public?

That’s why wearing a mask matters.

David Wray, Salt Lake City

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