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Letter: Why harass people who mask up?

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Pedestrians wear masks in downtown Salt Lake City, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.

Why are so many people so uncivil and intolerant of others’ behavior? Perhaps the latest manifestation of our epidemic of incivility is harassment of someone wearing a mask. I have experienced it while doing my morning walk in St. George, and it baffles me. My mask wearing is not a political or social or cultural statement. It is about my health. I have a rare disease that is being treated with chemotherapy, and my immunity is compromised. I can’t take a chance of getting any kind of infection.

I have been harassed by strangers three different times in varied places where I walk in St. George. The first was a guy who drove by and yelled, “You can take off the mask. The federal government says so.”

The second time was especially troubling. I was walking through the grounds of Dixie Middle School. A group of young girls was walking toward me. One of them stepped out in front of me, with her hands on her hips, and said, “A mask, really?”

The third time was when I was walking on the bike path, and a group of male riders approached in front of me. One of them veered slightly toward me and said, “Lose the mask!”

What is wrong with you? Why does my mask aggravate you to the extent that you need to intrude in my affairs? Would you feel any shame if you knew about my condition?

Please stop judging and meddling when you don’t know people’s circumstances, especially when what they are doing isn’t harming or interfering with you in any way.

Jeanette Sefcik, St. George

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