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Would you wear a mask if you knew that 25 percent of our children under 2 years of age would die if they got infected with the coronavirus? I suspect most of us would say “yes” without hesitation.

Yet most of us are not wearing a mask. We know 25 percent of those over age 85 who get the coronavirus die. Their lives are less valuable than the life of a small child?

Since 40 percent of those who have been killed by the coronavirus were in a nursing home, and since the average life expectancy for someone who is in a nursing home is less than three years, are we saying we won’t wear a mask to save those lives?

Watching so many Florida residents act like college spring breakers, ignoring social distancing, not washing our hands and refusing to wear a mask, the answer is clearly “no – let them die.” We don’t value the life of those age 85 and over like we would value the life of a small child. What does this say about us?

For those who refuse to wear a mask in public, might I ask a simple question? If you knew you were sick and contagious with the coronavirus, would you wear a mask in public spaces?

I suspect the vast majority of the maskless population would wear a mask if they knew they were sick with this highly-contagious coronavirus.

Since you would wear a mask if you knew you were contagious, why not wear a mask — just in case — you are one of those hundreds of thousands of people who are contagious, but never show it.

Wearing a mask when you go through the drive-through or at the grocery store says to the people who are serving you “thank you for taking care of me. I am taking care of you in return by wearing a mask.”

Wearing a mask in public helps reinforce social distancing. It is a reminder we are not back to normal. If you are like me, you give the wearer of a mask a little extra room as you pass them in the aisle.

Perhaps you are one of those who are still not convinced to wear a mask in public. Might I pose the following questions?

Do you love America? Do you want America to bounce back from this Great Depression that quarantining created? If you answered yes, if you love America – wear a mask.

Here’s how wearing a mask helps America become great again. A large part of our population is afraid. Some are in an unreasonable panic mode, but some are genuinely concerned about their underlying health issues and those of loved ones who are most susceptible to dying from this virus.

Because they are afraid, they don’t go out. They don’t shop. They don’t help support our local businesses. The more the rest of us wear a mask, the lower the infection rate and the less afraid people will be.

We need people fully participating in the economy for America to fully recover. If you love America and want to see a strong economic recovery – wear a mask.

I’ve changed my mind about wearing a mask in public. I’m going to start wearing one. I hope you will, too. Out of respect for those serving us at the store, to remind us to social distance, to get America growing again.

Out of respect for the sanctity of life – no matter if we are 2 or 92.

David Dunn-Rankin is CEO of D-R Media, which owns the Winter Haven Sun, Four Corners News-Sun and Polk News-Sun in Polk County, as well as newspapers in Highlands, Lake and Sumter counties. He can be reached at David@D-R.Media.