Masking up is effective, safe, necessary

To the editor:

Like thousands of my fellow physicians who are members of the Indiana State Medical Association, I applaud Gov. Holcomb’s mandate for Hoosiers to wear face masks in public to prevent another surge of COVID-19.

As a practicing physician in Dubois County, many of the patients I care for are at risk for serious complications if they become infected with the coronavirus.

But wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience compared to the dangers of COVID-19 no matter what age you are. Young and old alike who test positive have described their symptoms as the worst illness they have ever experienced. We are only beginning to learn about the long-term implications for the health of those who are infected.

Wearing a mask is the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 in addition to staying at least six feet apart from others and washing hands often. The emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies prove that cloth face coverings reduce the spray of respiratory droplets when properly worn over the nose and mouth. And studies have shown no significant decrease in oxygen and no increase in carbon dioxide levels.

Take it from a local doctor – and please mask up when out in public and when social distancing is not possible. It’s effective, safe and necessary to protect Indiana’s public health and economy. Most importantly, masks save lives – perhaps yours and those of your loved ones, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

If we are successful in reducing COVID-19 by wearing a mask, all of Indiana can get back to school, back to work and back to doing all the things we cherish as Hoosiers.

— Ann Patterson, MD
Jasper
Trustee, Indiana State Medical Association




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