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JIM SMITH, San Clemente

A recent letter to the editor from Michael Smith illustrates the popular trend toward feelings over science. 

He not only missed the point of my letter, that there’s little scientific evidence how much protection masks offer. He also mistakenly presumes that I don’t ever wear a mask.  

There was, however, a positive result from Mr. Smith’s letter. In true “feelings first” form, he wrote, “Please wear a mask when in public for us who care.”

That caused me to ask, what does “in public” actually mean?

According to the California Department of Public Health, people must wear face coverings when they are in high-risk situations. They go on to list six such places. Most are where social distancing is not practical. You can find the information and a link to the document at: covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/.

Finally, there’s no comprehensive research available to rate social distancing versus masks versus other forms of behavioral change to limit the spread of COVID-19. Mask wearing does get the unintended consequence of emboldening rioters and looters.

The result has been hundreds of police officers injured and millions of dollars in property damage. “The Lone Ranger” is not happy.

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