To the Editor:
Since the coronation of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land, polls show that about four in 10 voters have shown their support for whatever he says or does. This includes the option of wearing masks in public.
If anyone reading this is planning a road trip to Tulsa for Trump's rally, be advised that to attend you must sign a waiver promising to not sue any individual, event sponsor or coordinator should you contract COVID-19.
The reason that I point this out is because many people believe that wearing a mask in public is not necessary because the threat of coronavirus is minimal. Well, then, so is the threat of secondhand smoke in public places. I smoked for more years than I care to admit, but I never felt that I had the right to endanger my fellow citizens.
We all at one time or another have a tendency to overlook a safety measure if it does not pertain to us or anyone we know. I can attest to this from personal experience.
A decade ago, I set out to get a law passed to require barbers wear gloves when shaving with a straight razor. This was supported by many of the state's public officeholders and encouraged by the department of professional regulation. It also had the endorsement of local medical professionals, barber and cosmetology instructors, union leaders and those connected to law enforcement.
One argument I heard was there was no known case that this could be used as a precedent. Many would think of HIV as a reasonable possibility, but many baby boomers that contracted hepatitis C couldn't account for how they were infected.
The United Kingdom has all but eliminated this practice, and barbers who still insist on using a straight razor are required to wear gloves.
When I attended barber school in Belleville in 1991 to 1992, the shaving around the ears and neck was not promoted. It was done only at the customer's request since we had finishing clippers. There's a reason why they are called "finishing clippers."
So, the next time that you get a haircut from a barber, you have the option of not having this procedure done. Just ask yourself if there are any other professions where blood-to-blood contact is possible and that gloves aren't required. And, when you unbuckle your seatbelt to go into the grocery store, put on a mask.
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