Dear Governor Lee,
I am writing to express support for the open letter from Tennessee’s health professionals and experts who have been calling for a statewide mask mandate for months.
Tennessee’s coronavirus cases are climbing and so are hospitalizations. Deaths will soon be on the rise as well.
I am thankful that Williamson County, Tennessee, has listened to the experts and kept a mask mandate in place for most of the pandemic. But the vast majority of counties have not. As a medical professional working in nursing homes, I know that the only way we can protect our vulnerable elders is to keep our caregivers healthy. Until we have a vaccine or access to daily testing, we just can’t keep asymptomatic spread from happening.
I also have three high-risk family members: my mother who is 73, my brother who has severe asthma, and my sister-in-law who has a genetic pulmonary disorder. If any of them contract COVID, it will be life-threatening.
You can protect Tennesseans like my family members. You have the power to put a mask mandate into place. I know this has become a political issue. But we have accepted helmet laws, speed limits and seat belt laws, all as ways to protect people from dying. We heard the same arguments then — if I want to take the risk, I should be able to. Unfortunately this time, if unmasked healthy people take that risk and become infected, they can pass the virus to our grandparents and those with preexisting conditions. Our most vulnerable.
Lori Coleman, PT
If you are in Tennessee, sign the petition and write your own letter to Gov. Lee here: https://protectmycare.org/masks/?ms=VandyEmail20201110&emci=5a05c368-851f-eb11-96f5-00155d03bda0&emdi=877fcb66-bf23-eb11-9fb4-00155d03affc&ceid=3748566
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