submitted by Sherryl Smith

I am writing this as an appeal to Mississippi Mills residents when considering whether to wear a mask.  I am an active and (so far) healthy 75-year-old retired health care professional. I understand germ warfare. I once demonstrated the hidden violence of these invisible critters to nursing students by having them swab their purses and culture what grows on them after being left on a public bathroom floor. You don’t want to know!

I have been a diligent adherent to the rules these past many weeks, now months. I’ve cancelled trips of a lifetime, not seen my grandchildren for weeks, and continued to do my own grocery shopping every two weeks while wearing a mask and following the pandemic precautions posted. I have been to several stores throughout Mississippi Mills and have been dismayed by several persistent observations.

  • staff in stores don’t wear masks and don’t always respect physical distancing rules with customers
  • most customers don’t wear masks
  • it’s easy to forget the 6 ft rule when you’re in a hurry to grab your stuff off the shelf and get home safely

EVERYONE should be wearing masks!  Clerks, shelf stockers, shoppers. The messaging from various experts has been confusing over these last several weeks but here’s the reason why I think there should be no doubt about the need to wear a mask.

Wearing a mask is your spit stopper!  Your spit is likely to be carrying some unsavoury microbe, maybe even Covid-19! It could be lurking in your saliva, nose drippings or sputum even if you do not have a fever, cough or running nose (aka asymptomatic carriers, in medical speak). Masks prevent your spit from getting into my system because the mask stops it. The virus is carried in droplets. That’s what causes your glasses to steam up a little and why your mask needs to be washed frequently. Your excretions are moist and transmittable.

We should all assume everyone is possibly a carrier ready to transmit it. As the experts do more research on this new virus the evidence is building that about 40% of infected people have no symptoms! Covid is everywhere – even here in Miss Mills.

For the sake of all of us, please wear a mask!  This virus is going to be around for a long time yet and we are all getting a little weary of being restrained.

It’s not a big deal, there are LOTS of non-medical masks available for free through Carebridge MMTogether, by requesting one through BridgingGenerations624@gmail.com.

There are also many different patterns online to make your own.

As well, Pakenham’s Paddye Mann has offered her unique pattern on her website  https://paddyemann.com for a made-in-Mississippi Mills version.

Please use your influence on your family, friends and co-workers to wear a mask. If you have doubts, go to the Leeds Lanark Grenville Health Unit website: https://heathunit.org/coronavirus