Vol. II No. 19 10/1/2021
- Coaching Weekend and Harvest Festival cancelled in an abundance of caution.
- A Message from Charles Kenny MD, (Chair, Stockbridge Board of Health, and Chair, Tri-Town Health Department.
Public health officials, nurses, and doctors study infectious disease throughout their careers. We don masks, shields, gowns, gloves; we hand-wash, use antibiotics and vaccines, and employ any other intervention we think might help to protect other people. Since we have been doing this all our lives, we know the ill effects of having let down our guard against germs that do not show up for weeks or months after the mistake; then someone develops a serious infection or dies. We understand that it is easy for those who do not know germs as well as we do to underestimate their danger.
I believe that most people who object to wearing a mask would not hesitate to stop their cars at a pedestrian crosswalk. After all, it would be obvious that you could hurt or even kill the person. Furthermore, it would be on the front page, not only who had died, but that someone, you, had killed them. However, if you go to a store or party and none of your friends wear masks, it is very likely that, if some of them get sick, they will recover without long-lasting effects. You can all joke about it at the next party. Meanwhile, some of your temporarily sick friends will have given it to other people. These people may also be fine after they recover. But someone, several persons down the line, weeks later, gets sick, very sick, and dies. Neither you, nor your friends, nor anyone else ever knows that one of your friends passed the germ that eventually killed someone, so it is easy to imagine it did not happen.
Over 300 people have died in the Berkshires from Covid-19. In the same period of time, about 10 people died in motor vehicle accidents. Many more would have died if some people had decided it was not worth the bother, or an infringement on their personal freedom, to stop at a crosswalk to save another. It's very easy to put on a mask to protect others. It isn't a guarantee, but it most assuredly helps.
Josh runner rehydrates. Photo: Jay Rhind.
End of Summer Sun. Photo: John Hart.