Kudos to the Polk County Health Center, who has gone from lamely mentioning masks this summer, to forcefully advocating them as a primary tool to control the spread of the coronavirus in Bolivar. 

If only your elected officials had the courage to mandate mask use, Polk County could make real progress on preventing the spread of the disease. 

As the weather drives people indoors, Polk County will experience greater spread of the virus and more COVID-related deaths. Why? Because this disease spreads not just by droplets expelled by coughs, speaking and singing, but also by exhaled aerosols that float for a long time in rooms that get little to no outside air. Those aerosols travel more than 6 feet, so social distancing and hand washing won't protect you from them. 

Universal mask wearing significantly reduces the spread. Masks aren't that inconvenient, particularly when you consider that doing so protects both you and your neighbors from a potentially deadly infection. 

When will Missouri political leaders actually grow a spine and enact some evidence-based public health mandates?

— Russell Jackson

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