COVID-19 has taken several people I have known. Most were older and lost their lives weeks or months ago.

Last week, though, it really hit home. COVID-19 claimed the life of someone just a bit older than me. It was only weeks ago I last saw this person and they looked good, sounded good and we shared information and even lunch.

This person was a veteran, in good shape and clearly loved life. This person had a loving family and a great job.

The virus took none of that into consideration. It attacked, and just like that, it was ravaging this person’s body. A ventilator, and life support were no match for COVID-19. They died late last week, just hours after being taken off life support.

I say all of this not because it’s changed my tune; I’ve taken seriously the precautions we’ve all been advised to consider, including mask wearing and distancing.

I say this because I hope it changes your tune. You know who you are. You deny that masks do any good and you ignore the warnings of health professionals in your own neighborhood and those in government.

Thing is, you can deny that masks do any good. It’s your right as an ill-informed American. However, any decent person would acknowledge it’s no one’s right to endanger everyone around them. We do know masks are effective and though not 100% effective, they are at least somewhat effective in cutting down the risk of spreading the disease.

Isn’t that enough? Are we that selfish? Are you that selfish?

Visit this link to learn more about the efficacy of masks, even those masks that are cloth. If that doesn’t appease your curiosity or align with your political beliefs, visit any number of mask studies that exist.

The reported success of two different vaccines is great news, though until those vaccines are dispersed to a wide section of the population, masks and distancing are all we have.

Numbers of cases are rising at an alarming rate, both here close to home, and across the country.

Do what you can to protect yourself, and your neighbor.

It’s a small ask. It’s your life, and the life of others at risk.

Chris Brady is managing editor at The Standard-Journal and can be reached at

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