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MICHAEL SMITH, San Clemente

I feel compelled to respectfully respond to the two gentlemen, namely Jim Smith and Gregg Lancer, and accordingly to both of their letters to the editor published on Aug. 13 in the San Clemente Times.

Seemingly, they both profess that wearing a mask is not effective, uncomfortable and based on their “information”; it is, therefore, unnecessary. Gregg says, “If I don’t wear a mask,” he is treated “poorly and negatively.”

I think I might know why that is.

Personally, I seek the highest level of expertise to carefully decide and guide us during this terrible pandemic. Interesting enough, Vice President Mike Pence recently stated during an interview with Axios on HBO, “The COVID-19 Task Force recommends following the CDC Guidelines, which clearly includes wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and hand washing in public.”

Other notable and respected health experts including Dr. Fauci also support this recommendation. So, gentlemen, it’s no wonder why you are treated so poorly. The good and considerate folks around you are taking the CDC guidelines seriously, and I would suggest that you two do as well.

While I am sorry that Gregg has breathing problems, no one is really happy or comfortable having to wear a mask, but we do so because it’s the right thing to do now. Gregg, why not wear a shield instead?

Look, if we all follow the real experts’ advice, then, hopefully, we will be able to flatten the current curve spike in COVID-19 cases in SC as shown in the same SC Times newspaper as your letters.

The virus has not gone away. We must take all the precautions possible we can to help stop the spreading. Gentlemen, and all you other folks, please wear a mask when in public for us who care.

As you stated, Gregg, “Be kind and patient.” Please remember that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

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