Jones' "covid fad" misses mark
Preston Jones, in his Aug. 24 column, refers to "the covid fad." He's partly correct in that it was a phenomenon that many participated in across the world. The similarity ends there, however. Almost all the people who contracted covid were unwilling participants; unlike most fads, this one has killed more than a million Americans (and 6.5 million worldwide), and sickened just shy of 95 million as of Sept. 12. I can't think of anyone who was killed by a hula hoop or a pet rock.
Mr. Jones clearly does not understand the preventive value of wearing a mask. In the early days of the pandemic, when there was no vaccine and effective antiviral drugs were not yet available, the advice to wear a mask, keep distance and washing frequently was the best defense we had against an infectious disease that posed a serious risk to anyone who got it. Further, for anyone who was forced to be in a confined space at close quarters -- a classroom, for example -- wearing a mask was probably the most effective prevention measure.
I recently went to National Jewish Health in Denver with a family member who was evaluated and treated there. NJH is rated the best lung hospital in America by U.S. News and World Report, and widely considered in the medical community as being the best lung hospital on the planet. They have been treating lung and infectious diseases there for well over a century, long before covid. Everyone there -- everyone -- from the administrators down to the guys parking your car, wears a "disgusting" mask all day long. It should also be noted, Denver County, along with a number of others in the Front Range, has a 70% plus vaccination rate, some over 80%; still, they all wear masks.
I get that wearing a mask eight or 10 hours a day is not comfortable. But the alternative is not very appealing. Preston Jones' approach is unhelpful and possibly dangerous. The people at National Jewish know what they're doing and have the science to back it up. I'm going with their guidance and I encourage others to do so as well.