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Letter to the Editor

It’s simple: Wear a mask

To the editor: Simple answer to confusing situation

Fairbanks and Alaska are in crisis. People are confused, scared and angry, and many don’t want to be told what to do. In times like these, clear leadership and instruction would make a world of difference. In the absence of this leadership from our elected officials, we have had to rely on a growing number of executives and business owners to take steps to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers:

If you want to visit the Tanana Valley Farmers Market this summer, you wear a face covering.

If you attend UAF or work there, you wear a face covering indoors at all times.

Alaska Airlines may ban future travel for those who refuse to wear masks.

Walmart and Costco require masks for all staff and customers nationwide.

Kroger stores, including Fred Meyer, will soon require them.

It’s a pretty simple thing to do!

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN, “You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.”

An article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that two hairstylists in Missouri who were positive and symptomatic for COVID-19 interacted with a total of 139 customers over 10 days. The hairstylists and their customers were required to wear masks (in most cases these were only cloth or surgical masks). None of the 67 who submitted to a test came back positive for the disease, and none of the rest reported any symptoms over the subsequent two weeks. Masks work when social distancing is not possible.

Since our elected officials either can’t or won’t take bold, necessary action, we Fairbanksans should require it of each other. Praise those who do and encourage those who haven’t yet. We can slow the spread of this disease, but it requires effort from each of us.

Nobody wants to return to another economic shutdown.

Nancy Tarnai

Fairbanks

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