This wasn't a cheery sight to see in my email inbox today, the latest Oregon Health Authority update about new COVID-19 cases.
Like everybody else, I want things to get back to normal as quickly as possible. But this isn't going to happen so long as new infections keep occurring at a rapid rate. So please, people, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Many people in Salem aren't doing this.
Here's a letter to the editor in a recent issue of New Scientist about wearing masks that I liked a lot.
From Lloyd Timberlake,
Ridge, Maryland, US
Jessica Hamzelou's excellent piece on the science of the protective effects of face masks against the coronavirus inevitably didn't touch on unscientific, but important, aspects of masks, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends we wear in settings like grocery stores.
Masks are a form of theatre, saying, "I am playing the role of a responsible citizen." They are a uniform expressing serious solidarity in the war against the pandemic.
They are also a polite way to say: "Stay away from me. You don't know whether I am wearing this mask to protect me from you or you from me."
Perhaps most importantly, President Trump won't wear one. So they must be an excellent idea.