Why wear a mask?

KCBD Healthwise: Why wear a mask?

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It was hot and I felt a little silly when I wore a mask into the Post Office. Ten people were in front of me and I could see people walking from their cars to come inside. Nobody was wearing a mask except the three employees behind the counter... and me.

I really felt stupid when I heard a lady in line 6 feet behind me, tell her friend, “You don’t need to wear a mask. I read on the internet that they don’t work anyway.”

I kept my mouth shut. It was smashed under a mask anyway.

But when I left the post office, I searched the internet and found all sorts of stories to back her up.

So, in the city’s virtual news conference this morning, I shared my post office pity party with the Lubbock Health Authority, Dr. Ron Cook. I told him you can google a lot of reasons to put down your mask, many of which come from what appear to be credible sources.

First, Dr. Cook said he does not go to Dr. Google for medical information. He said, “Anybody can post anything they want to and call it credible on the internet. That’s just the internet.”

Turns out, the reason you wear a mask is out of consideration for the other guy.

Dr. Cook says it goes back to the same reason why doctors and nurses wear a mask during office or surgical procedures. They are not protecting themselves from catching something in the operating room. They are making sure they don’t pass something onto the patient when that person is most vulnerable.

Dr. Cook explained, “We’re asking the citizens of Lubbock to do the same thing. You could be completely asymptomatic, shedding this virus. And if you wear a mask, you are going to certainly decrease the ability to spread that virus to somebody else.”

Now it makes sense.

We are asked to wear a mask to help protect others around us who may be high risk because of cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma or a long list of underlying health conditions.

Dr. Cook says, “So that’s what I’m asking people to do, wear a mask for the health of others.”

Isn’t that what sets us apart in West Texas? We care about the other guy.

By the way, Dr. Cook has previously told us that good reliable sources for information on COVID-19 include the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control or the Texas Department of Health.

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