This lab experiment demonstrated the effectiveness of masks at preventing the spread of germs.

By Paul Stewart, President and CEO

On this cusp of a summer holiday weekend, all of us at Sky Lakes want you to stay safe, and remind you to take this precaution against COVID-19: Wear a face mask in public. Watch the video.

If you already routinely wear a mask in public: Thank you! You are a role model and a hero – you’re helping to keep all of us safe.

Studies show with ever-more evidence that a simple cloth barrier can dramatically decrease the risk of spreading the infection.

Yes, face masks can be inconvenient – until you get used to wearing them — but they are not an infringement on personal liberty any more than obeying a stop sign infringes on freedom.

Just like traffic signs, masks are necessary for “the greater good” of public safety. Wearing a mask is akin to “defensive driving.”

Their value relies on everyone – all of us – wearing a mask whenever we’re in public. Simply put, my mask protects you and your mask protects me.

People without symptoms can spread the virus by coughing or by sneezing, or merely by speaking. Masks act as barriers that block the flight of virus-laden droplets. We should all assume we might be an asymptomatic virus spreader, so we should all wear a mask in public spaces.

To prove the point, a non-infected lab technician coughed straight into a petri dish without a mask, and then did the same thing but wearing a fabric mask made from an old lab coat. The results were dramatic. The unprotected dish grew an astonishing number of colonies whereas the mask caught most of the airborne germs before they got to the protected dish.

By wearing masks, we can reduce the risk of spreading the virus, and that will help protect our collective health.

Beyond personal health, reducing the spread of the virus will help keep our stores open and our economy thriving – a small personal sacrifice now will benefit all of us in the long run.

So this Fourth of July weekend, be safe, stay kind, and thank you for all you do for our community.