To the Editor:

I’m in the vulnerable group with an underlying health problem, not unlike most people my age. I don’t want be another statistic during this global pandemic. So I made a decision and I’m willing to accept all the sacrifices to stay safe.

The deaths in Kendall County are growing slowly. The low numbers reflect that the majority of residents care about their families and neighbors, and are following CDC guidelines to cut the probability of contracting the COVID-19 infection.

Unfortunately, there are a few who may not understand the consequences of their selfish acts of refusing to wear a mask and not social distancing in public. It’s common knowledge that an infected person may not exhibit flu-like systems. They may not be aware of the raging infection inside of them when they’re pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. Therefore, they’re putting everyone around them at tremendous risk.

Ideally, everyone should be wearing a N95 mask when going out. A surgical mask would be the next best thing, but a cloth mask gives great protection only if we all wear one. The principle is keeping the droplets from coughing, talking, sneezing and laughing from becoming airborne. The chances of infection drop dramatically if everyone is masked.

I would get out more and patronize some of our local businesses if everyone wore a mask. All of those thoughts evaporated when a 30-something year old man walked right next to me unmasked when I was out shopping. He walked by a mom with two young masked children. Without a care for anyone but himself, he continued to shop. No one stopped him. My first thought was he had a disability. Or was he out looking for a confrontation? Was he making a “freedom” statement, donning a faded flag cap? Do the math. Do you know what .01% of 328.2 million Americans equal? Or is he just one of those guys that no one is going to tell him what to do.

His actions will prolong our misery. His action could put all of us at risk. The children in the cart, all our children, need our protection. They need us to be sensible. There are some really cool masks for men, and there’s no excuse to not wear one. Real men wear masks. And for the occasional woman I see violating the rules… Shame on you.

Arlene Salamendra