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Opinion >  Letters

Masks do work

While serving as an Air Force jet fighter pilot, I wore a mask nearly every day for more than two years – -an oxygen mask. I didn’t have to, but I would have died if I didn’t, since all our missions were flown at above 20,000 feet.

Today the current coronavirus pandemic is just as deadly as high altitude, and most doctors and scientists have recommended wearing masks along with social distancing as the best way to protect ourselves and others from the virus. They say of the more than 241,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the virus, thousands would have been saved, if we “had just worn a mask.”

In Idaho, 749 people have died, and 1,693 new positive cases were identified last Wednesday. Hospitals (including Kootenai Health) throughout the state are at or over capacity and we are running short of medical personnel to handle the cases.

According to a group of Idaho business leaders, Idaho has more deaths than Utah although it has twice our population. The group asks, “What can be more important than ensuring the safety of our citizens? Wearing a mask, safe distancing, washing your hands, avoiding large crowds. These are the only weapons we have right now to fight this virus, keep our hospitals operating, and protect our people.”

Why then, wouldn’t everyone want to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors by simply wearing a mask? Masks work – they keep you and others alive.

James W. Ramsey



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