I’ve been reminded a lot lately of three great things to know: Fall in Western North Carolina is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, elections do eventually end and wearing masks during a pandemic saves lives. You can take my word on the first two, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will back me up on the mask claim. In fact, the CDC recently updated its findings to show that mask-wearing not only protects nearby people, it helps the person wearing the mask stay safe, too [avl.mx/8qa]. Huzzah!
Thank you to those already consistently and correctly donning face coverings. I see you. I pass you in the grocery store, nod at you and your dog out walking, and am grateful for you improving public safety while you’re hard at work at your job. And I know you’re dealing with “maskne,” fogged glasses, muffled voices — it can be annoying. But you have the power to save lives! Every day! You and a little rectangle of fabric are going to get us through this fall and winter.
I get it. Pandemic fatigue is real. My March 2020 self would be shocked by the risks I was taking by the end of the summer in an attempt to have things feel normal again. But now North Carolina’s infection numbers are breaking records, and with the holidays approaching, they’re likely to get worse before they get better [avl.mx/8qb].
Kudos to Gov. Roy Cooper for smartly lowering limits on indoor gatherings [avl.mx/8qc]. We don’t need any more superspreader events before we have a safe and effective vaccine. So please join me in putting on a jacket and a mask and going outside to support our local businesses and community at a safe distance!
— Mary Ellen M. Kustin