To the editor,
Last summer while I was working outdoors, I was approached by an acquaintance. I put on my face mask. He kind of shrugged and said, “Don’t worry, I’m not sick.” I answered that these days I think it’s good manners not to breathe on people.
Back then it didn’t seem to be a big deal around here. Only four people in Oswego had died of COVID-19; there were fewer than ten cases of the coronavirus in the town of Constantia. Whether or not to take precautions seemed to be a matter of preference.
But now, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout Oswego County. Constantia has nearly 75 identified cases of the coronavirus. That doesn’t count the people who don’t have symptoms, haven’t been tested and are spreading the virus everywhere they go. No one can say with confidence “Don’t worry, I’m not sick.” Experts say we have to assume every person we meet may have the virus, that we ourselves may have the virus.
Now my family is waiting for the final news about a beloved uncle who grew up in Amboy. He’s in hospice care in another state and within days or even hours he will be dead of COVID-19. It’s everywhere now, and people are dying.
It’s not a matter of preference. It’s everyone’s responsibility to our community. Please, for the good of all, stay home for a few weeks. Wear a mask when you’re out in public, indoors and out. Don’t gather in groups outside of your own household, even with people who are your family and friends.
I know, I know, people are tired of all the rules. But we need to stop this virus from spreading farther and faster than it is now. We can do what is needed to save lives. We can do it.