Letter to the Editor

Wear that mask

To the editor: Message fatigue can occur when someone hears the same message over and over. People can become exhausted by it and sometimes begin to completely tune the message out. Because of this, there are times that we need to make a concerted effort to listen to a message, understand its importance, and act on that information. Now is one of those times.

COVID-19 has had a devastating economic impact on many businesses and individuals across Alaska, and several lives have been lost. While we had all hoped Alaska’s numbers would remain low, the last few weeks have brought a spike that has many questioning how much worse it will get. The good news is that we all have the ability to effect the severity of this situation. What can we do? It’s simple — mask up, Fairbanks!

As we’ve heard from the experts, including Alaska’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, many people infected with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms but can still spread it. Healthy people should not assume they don’t need a mask. We don’t want more residents getting sick, we don’t want businesses to have to close their doors again, and so now is the time to act. The governor had to take drastic steps to slow the spread of the virus earlier this year, and if we cannot step up to protect ourselves and neighbors, he may have to institute stronger restrictions.

All businesses should require patrons wear masks and practice social distancing. As individuals, we should be proud and thankful when we see a business doing such. They are protecting us and their employees. This is our community and we must each hold ourselves accountable for taking care of it. Can it be an inconvenience to wear a mask at times? Sure, but it’s an incredibly small price to pay for the well-being of Fairbanks. Thank you to those businesses that have done their best to keep Fairbanks safe by requiring masking and social distancing. If your business has not yet done that, I implore you to take additional steps now to protect your business, your family and your neighbors.

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