Public health should be a matter of science, not opinion. It should be based on fact, not politics. Yesterday, Montana recorded over a thousand cases of Covid19. This is why I was so disappointed in Stu Goodner’s uninformed and inflammatory letter to the editor last week. Those of us who wear masks and practice social distancing are not governed by fear but out of concern for our neighbors, family, and friends.

A thousand people a day are now dying of the virus. Mr. Goodner dismisses them because, he says, most of them have pre-existing conditions. Is he saying that the most vulnerable of us are not our concern, that if you have asthma or a heart condition or are overweight that you are dispensable? 

Goodner also does not take into account those who may not die but who become very sick, filling our hospitals and suffering grave side effects for months. 

This week, hospitalizations hit a record high of over 61,000. He does not take into account all the health care workers and public health officials who put their lives on the line for us and who are in danger of running out of protective gear. 

According to the CDC, health care workers make up at least 6% of hospitalizations. I think of people who work at our local grocery stores, schools and post office. 

Is wearing a mask so painful that you wouldn’t want to protect your postal worker when you walk in? No health organizations in the entire world believe that herd immunity is a realistic option. I wonder where Mr. Goodner gets his information. Clearly not from reputable sources.

— Melissa Kwasny, Basin

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