In response to Kevin O’Neil’s article “Take off your mask” on Sept. 9, I say ‘Leave your mask on.’ Mr. O’Neil makes some good arguments for leaving your mask off, but I have a different perspective that has been missed here. I have been wearing a mask for over 40 years and there are thousands just like me. We are not surgeons that wear masks to stop from infecting a surgical wound, we are wood and metal workers that wear a good mask to protect us from getting a lung full of fine wood and metal dust that fills the air while grinding on whatever projects we are working on.
Mr. O’Neil states in his article that viral respiratory infections are spread primarily by very fine aerosol particles, not unlike the very fine wood and metal particles that we have been wearing masks for all these years. It seems to me that it would only be common (or not so common) sense that if a good mask (like a N95) can protect one from wood and metal dust, it would also help protect you from the very fine aerosol particles that Mr. O’Neil refers to.
Considering this, I for one will choose to leave my mask on.