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Reading the column "Corona Diary" by Preston Jones (Oct. 21), I notice that his core observation: The "elderly and others can be protected as the rest of us get sick and move on," is completely false.

Was that what you, Mr. Jones, were doing when you and I were waiting in line in the lobby of the Community Building to vote in the Primary election? Your mask was around your neck as you conversed with others waiting there. I am over 70 years old but wanted to exercise my right to vote. If you were asymptomatic covid positive, you exposed everyone.

Were my husband and I being protected when we went to a pharmacy for influenza vaccines and encountered two people unmasked? When I pointed it out, the manager simply ignored me and walked away. We are considered "elderly" but do like to be out and interacting in community activities. We don't want to live in isolation while the rest of the world goes about unmasked. Friends have told me they are unable to attend in-person church services because there are congregants there who are refusing to wear masks or social distance. How sad.

Arkansas has never really had a complete lockdown and is mostly "open" right now -- including schools, restaurants and other places. You may be ready to expose yourself, your children and everyone you know so that this virus can attack at will, but you don't really know if this actually imparts immunity to those who acquire it. It may be like other viruses and immunity is short-lived. If the early lockdown period had been utilized to ramp up testing/tracing as other countries did, we would have many fewer deaths and could isolate those with the virus instead of those, like me, who don't want to get infected.

All your citations of overreactions are dated from March.

Here, in the real world in November, what we need is for everyone to accept that wearing masks and social distancing are necessary to help control this virus without the type of systemic lockdowns of which you are so afraid. Your article just poured gasoline on the fire of denial.

Shereen West

Siloam Springs

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