To Mr. (Mark) Thornton,

You asked this question in your August 13 column: “If you’re vaccinated and you wear your mask — and you truly believe those things are effective — why does it matter if others around you conform?”

I have responses to your question.

It matters because one in 500 Americans have died from COVD.

It matters because viruses are contagious. The COVID19 Delta variant is extremely contagious. COVID19 has mutated due to the millions of cases worldwide and this variant is much more likely to affect children and those with compromised immune systems.

It matters because COVID cases in Mississippi and other nearby state are spreading northward and westward. Unvaccinated and unmasked folks spread the virus.

It matters because the science is clear. While not 100 percent effective, vaccines and masks slow this contagion.

It matters because those undergoing chemotherapy (and other critically ill

folks) suffer from ravaged immune systems. These people’s lives are at a standstill because they dare not go out and about the unmasked and unvaccinated.

It matters because we are members of a society. Societies function for all folks to live safely, happily, and fruitfully. Society norms are effective and will work if we all bear the responsibility to live in a manner that supports others and ourselves.

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