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We and almost everybody we know have been sick with something in the past three weeks. 

And it sucks. Fever, congestion, a wicked sore throat, persistent cough. A bad cold that just does not want to let go.

So we’re here to say something that nobody who has lived the past two years in this COVID-ridden hell hole of a world wants to hear: If you are sick and out in public, wear a mask.

Now, for those of you inclined to go ballistic at the mere thought of being asked to wear a mask, please hear us out.

We are not advocating a mask mandate, or for Dr. Fauci to come out of retirement, or to have Biden declare martial law and force everybody to wear masks for the rest of forever. 

We are asking you, if you’re sick, to be considerate and wear a mask for the good of others.

A concoction of illnesses is circulating right now, among them viruses like the coronavirus, multiple strains of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), causing one of the worst cold and flu seasons on record — and we haven’t even arrived at the typical seasonal peak. Suffolk County also has a high COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These viruses can cause serious diseases that lead to life-threatening infections like pneumonia. Older adults and infants are especially at risk. 

So if you are sick and have to go into work, or need groceries, or need to get your medicine at the pharmacy, please protect others by wearing a mask. (Yes, they are effective at preventing the spread of disease, as many epidemiological studies show.)

We know you’re tired of it. So are we. The coronavirus, and everything that came with it, has taken a lot from us: Family, friends, experiences, education, memories.  

But helping to protect the health of people around you — even people you don’t know — is just a plain good thing to do. It can save a lot of people a lot of pain. 

Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Keep your virus germs to yourself. Take reasonable safety precautions when ill: stay isolated if you can, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, cough into your elbow, and wear a mask in indoor public places. 

Doing something little can go a long way. In the spirit of the season, protect yourself and others, and have a happy, healthy holiday.

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