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The coronavirus has made life in Montana miserable, locking us in our homes and closing businesses. We are beginning to return to normal, but my fear is that normal will only last a short time before the next spike – which can be avoided.

How?

By wearing a mask.

It’s so simple, and the science is so clear. (And, full disclosure, I do have a master’s degree in science and my husband is a PhD scientist.) There are many, many studies that prove that if 90% of the population wore masks in public, after a reasonably short period of time we could ditch the masks and the closures, because the virus would be gone.

How is this possible? The virus needs a host. We humans are the host. We cough, we exhale forcefully (when singing, running, or shouting, for example), and we send the virus on to the next vulnerable human. A mask that covers the nose and mouth and provides a reasonable barrier is the answer.

Don’t we all want this virus to die away? I know I do.

I want to beg our leaders – local, regional, state – to ask that we all wear masks when out in public. That our businesses require mask wearing of employees and patrons. That enterprising individuals set up street-vendor selling of nice-looking and useful masks.

I am actively avoiding businesses that do not require masks. It’s disappointing to walk Main Street and see so many people not wearing a mask.

Mask-wearing is medicine. And this would be good for all of us, and for Montana.

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Janet Fox

Bozeman