In a recent opinion, State Representative Josh Heintzeman criticized Central Lakes College for not following science and data in deciding to institute a mask mandate. I think that CLC is using science and data for the mask mandate. It is known that, when we breathe, aerosol particles are exhaled. When we talk, a lot of aerosol particles plus spittle are sprayed into the air. The COVID-19 virus adheres to these particles. It has been shown that masks reduce the amount of aerosol particles and spittle both exhaled by a person and inhaled by a person. Masks help reduce the chance of passing the virus from one person to another.

It has recently become evident that the delta version of COVID-19 can infect even a vaccinated person, and that person can pass the virus on to other people. Thus, it has been recommended that vaccinated people wear masks to reduce their chance of becoming infected or passing their asymptomatic infection to others. The CLC mask mandate is in accord with the science and is also ethically responsible to protect the CLC community.

Representative Heintzeman pointed out that CLC has virtual options available for those with concerns related to the pandemic. But then to score a few political points, he goes on to laud a couple of students who withdrew from CLC to protest the mask mandate. But if the students had such an aversion to wearing masks, why couldn’t they avail themselves of using the virtual option to continue their education? It seems that for some people politics is more important than education.

Robert Eliason

Lake Shore