There needs to be an emphasis in the news media and by our government officials for people to wear masks properly. Properly means that both the nose and mouth need to be covered.

As days and weeks pass, I have been observing more and more people who are leaving their nose fully uncovered. This negates the purpose of wearing a mask.

The medical and scientific communities have repeatedly emphasized the need for everyone to wear a face mask as the key means of reducing the spread of COVID-19, along with social distancing and washing hands often. It is often stated that if everyone effectively practiced these few items, the infection rate would drop to near zero within six weeks.

By the way, wear a face shield if you cannot wear a mask properly. Yet too many of us choose to ignore the guidance from the experts on infectious disease, so here we are. Far too many of us have died, because the country as a whole refuses to act responsibly.

The U.S. just surpassed 200,000 deaths from COVID-19. Our country has 4% of the world’s population, but 20% of the deaths. This works out to a per capita death rate in the U.S. that is six times higher than the rest of the world.

For our per capita death rate to be the same as the rest of the world, the U.S. would have to be at 33,000 deaths. So perhaps an extra 167,000 people have died because of our country’s refusal to take proper actions.

Yet we have leaders who claim that their policies warrant a grade of A+. Sad!

STEPHEN WEGENER

retired chemical engineer

Luling