We’ve heard the opinions about masks undermining our freedoms. But think of all the things you do every day to keep yourself and those you care about safe. We wear seatbelts and motorcycle helmets. We use car seats for our children. These things are now second nature - a part of the way we live.
We should apply the same thinking to protections from COVID-19 because the risks associated with the virus are far more serious than anything we’ve encountered. Since March, more than 2,800 Georgians have died from COVID-19. For comparison, during the entire seven-month 2019-20 flu season, just 94 Georgians died of the flu. And the number of infections is rising, with more young people getting sick.
Want to protect your personal freedoms to live, work, play and send your children to school without fear of becoming sick? So do we. The best way to do so is to follow the precautions that will allow us to keep our businesses, schools and state open. Public health and the economy don’t have to be at odds. This is not an either-or proposition.
Almost every day someone approaches our staff to thank them for their heroic work caring for COVID-19 patients, and many ask what they can do to help. The answer is simple: Do everything you can to stay healthy and keep those around you healthy. Wear a mask.
Kevin Brown, president and CEO, Piedmont Healthcare. John M. Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System. Donna W. Hyland, president and CEO, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Jonathan S. Lewin, M.D., president and CEO, Emory Healthcare. Candice Saunders, President and CEO, Wellstar Health System.