To The Editor:

Commonly, The Valley Reporter is not where I expect to read a love letter. However, I was very moved and touched by Jim Dodds’ letter explaining that he and Judy are unable to be close, to see or touch each other, because of COVID-19. Further, Jim’s selfless compliance with why they must meet this way, not passing blame, but willing to be self-sacrificing to protect his beloved wife and the community in which she now lives is admirable.

Time is precious, most notably when you know your time with a loved one is limited. Additionally, if you are the one who has a compromised immune system, it is unexplainably scary. Every few days, as town health officer, I receive a phone call or email from someone who is in such a situation inquiring as to the best practices for their protection and risk reduction. I try to supply the latest information which I have received from the Vermont Department of Health and other sources and offer such comfort as I can, although I would hazard a guess that the professionals in the health care field would admit that there is far more they do not know about COVID-19 than they do know.

Thus, we, as a caring community, should all desire to allay the fears and offer comfort to those who are so worried and scared and our neighbors who are scared to their very marrow. Having such anxiety about your very life is a terrible thing. While the science may be debated, far beyond that, when we know that merely wearing a mask lessens the worries and concerns of our neighbors, that alone is more than a sufficient reason to wear a mask in public.

I find it highly unconscionable for anyone to be so callous as to disregard the fears of his neighbors and argue the science of wearing a protective mask or not. Just knowing that in some small way it comforts your friends is more than a sufficient reason to wear a mask in public.

Stop thinking only of yourself and wear the damn mask!

Fred Messer

Waitsfield, Vermont