In times of crises, like the pandemic, we look for leadership.  Expert, competent, accurate information is what we seek to make good decisions in order to protect ourselves, our families, our businesses and our neighbors. Lacking that informed leadership - since nature abhors a vacuum - people will reach their own conclusions about what's best for them. Which leads me to asking -What about wearing protective masks?  Should we? Should we not?  Who knows?

Is it Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine? ".DeWine gave into pressure from what can generously be described as a small sample size of the public that felt “offended” by a requirement to wear masks in public....The governor on Tuesday reversed his decision from 24 hours prior to require masks as part of the reopening of Ohio and, against the advice of public health experts, made masks optional for customers going forward."

Is it Democrat Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia? "Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that the state will require anyone over the age of 10 to wear a face mask while inside a public building or business establishment to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19."

Well then is it the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? " After months of maintaining that healthy people didn’t need to wear masks in public to prevent the coronavirus, the country’s top public health officials reversed their position last week, recommending that everyone wear a face mask in public places where social distancing is difficult....It’s a stark change from the early weeks of the outbreak, when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said only two groups of people needed to wear them: people who were showing symptoms and people who were taking care of someone who was sick."

What about the WHO? "The World Health organization is recommending healthy people, including those who don’t exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with the contagion, a sharp contrast from the advice given by American public health officials who recommend everyone wear a mask in public...“If you do not have any repository symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask,” Dr. April Baller, a public health specialist for the WHO."

Aha!! The Final Authority has got to be Dr. Anthony Fauci!  "Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview on Wednesday that he believes that wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic is a sign of respect to others.(not mandatory effective protective behavior??) He added that while masks aren't 100% effective, he believes it's the "kind of thing you should be doing" during the pandemic."

Clear as mud.

Ok, OK. There are conflicting opinions, but what about the local authorities? What are they saying?  They say about 35% of Yakima County residents wear masks but that we need a number closer to 80% in order to reduce the spread and be able to reach numbers that will allow the County to mover into reopening level TWO.

This is from the latest press release TODAY 6/1/20 from the Yakima Health District.  , Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer at the Yakima Health District, issued a Health Officer Directive Effective June 3, 2020 for the public to use face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 illness.
The Directive, effective June 3, 2020, declares that all individuals at indoor or confined outdoor public settings are instructed to use face coverings over their nose and mouth.
The Directive will be in effect until it is no longer needed and rescinded by Dr. Everson. Wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of infection to others by blocking infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and speaks. Individuals can be infected and contagious before or even without developing symptoms. Evidence suggests a significant number of infections may be transmitted in this way.
The Directive applies to both workers and patrons of groceries, pharmacies, big box stores, and other essential establishments, including pet supplies, auto repairs, and home improvement stores. Restaurants with carry-out and food delivery must comply as well. Face coverings do not need to be worn outside unless appropriate social distancing cannot be practiced.
Exceptions to the Health Directive include children, people with disabilities, deaf individuals who use facial movements as part of communication, and individuals advised by their medical care providers that wearing a facial covering will jeopardize their health.
Health Officer Directives are based on individual compliance by the public; there is no penalty for not wearing a face covering.Yakima Health District will be partnering with the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management to distribute 330,000 masks over the next week.
So you should but you shouldn't but you should because its respectful but you should but it's not a it!

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