Editorial: Wear a mask, now more than ever

I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.
–Linus Van Pelt, 1959

We can all understand Linus’s feelings, and never more so after enduring a pandemic. The disease has brought out the best and worst of humanity, and continues to do so.  

The reason that the recent, insane D Street Neighborhood Center meeting regarding Old Arcata Road was held in its noisy parking lot was due to ongoing COVID-19 concern about indoor meetings. 

Attendees at the meeting were asked to remain masked even while outside. This advice was even better under the circumstances, in which people had to cluster closely to hear each other over the freeway noise. On top of that, they had to shout above the din, the unmasked among the shouters expelling more potential disease-carrying  droplets into the air those nearby were breathing. 

Most attendees wore masks out of conscientious concern for their fellow Arcatans. But many – including those there to fiercely advocate for public safety – didn’t. They wore the masks under their nose, or hanging around their neck, or held it in their hand to gesticulate with, or didn’t wear one at all because no one was making them. 

We aren’t scientists, but we’re pretty sure that a mask deployed so lackadaisically doesn’t do thing one to reduce disease transmission.

Anyone who’s paid attention knows that new, highly contagious and lethal COVID variants are propagating because people aren’t following basic safety procedures – mainly mask wearing. The more the disease circulates, the more it evolves and the more variants crop up. And more people get sick and die. 

It’s especially disheartening to see shoppers unmasked in local stores, further exposing our beloved frontline workers (and everyone else) to continued long-term health risk.

Even if you don’t have to, you should. Wear a mask.



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