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Nelson Otto

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

We keep hearing about masks and the government should force people to wear them. The scientific reality is they don't work on viruses period. Study after study have shown this. A recent perspective in the New England Journal of medicine once again repeated this, as well as a segment on Good Morning America. They warn that wearing a mask may actually increase the spread of COVID. People often believe that the virus is blocked by the mask but a study conducted in South Korea found that due to a wick effect moisture and the virus was drawn from the inside of the mask to the outside surface where it became concentrated. A sneeze or cough expelled the virus from the surface of the mask. If one touches the mask the virus is transferred to their hands. Thus contaminating every surface they touched. I've seen the touching the mask and everything else at drive-thrus many times. The mask also does not protect against droplets from entering the eyes. This is the reason when you go through the testing centers they wear goggles or face shields.

Another concern of the writer of the perspective is that people will stop using the more effective ways to curb the transmission, such as hygiene, social distancing and other effective control measures. Both the author of the perspective and Dr. Fauci have stated that masks are symbolic, the perspective said many believe masks are magic talismans that make people "feel" safe. I agree with this assessment as I have seen many people wear them on their chins or on top of their heads. They are even less effective that way. I believe that promoting this false sense of security is the biggest mistake we can make. Right now, indications are in areas were masks are required the number of new cases are growing rapidly. People "feel" safe so they are dropping the other more effective controls. I personally believe that as more people wear masks and "feel" safe the more cases we will see and the more people who don't wear masks but follow social distancing will be attacked for it and many already are.

It is time people start looking at the scientific facts and not feelings. Drop the mask, go back to social distancing and other more effective control measures because lives depend on it.

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