Any pandemic can only be stopped by ending transmission of the disease. Vaccines do nothing to reduce the spread. Vaccines protect only the vaccinated person. If everyone wore masks for an extended period—a month or two, maybe more—the virus would cease to exist.

Masks provide a barrier both ways. They prevent well people from breathing in virus and they prevent sick people from breathing out virus where it can make others sick. Vaccines do neither. They merely protect people who get sick from the virus from the worst symptoms. They get less sick. They are unlikely to require hospitalization and are very unlikely to die. But while sick, even vaccinated people can spread the virus.

If people continue to congregate unmasked, COVID-19 will be with us for years to come. And, yes, that’s even if we get most people vaccinated. There is a reason everybody in the hospital treating COVID-19 patients is masked: It is the best way to prevent getting it.

DAVID MYHRE

Janesville

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