Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, the kids at my camp aren't wearing masks!"

Dear Carol,
I have a long medical history and the campers at my camp aren't wearing masks. We are supposed to wear masks. I don't know if it's because their parents think that it's OK since I live in New York (which isn't a hotspot state anymore) or if they don't own masks or if they quarantined or if they haven't been in a hotspot state lately. What do you think I should do?
- Don't Want Covid

Dear Don't Want Covid, 

I don't want it either and I’m so glad you know that wearing a mask is the best way to stay safe and also help our country get healthy again. Many camps closed because of Covid-19. Others stayed open but made each kid arrive with a certificate saying she’d been tested. Your camp is in that in-between gray area—and of course every kid should be wearing a mask. 

Have you spoken to the counselors? It’s not snitching or tattling. When a girl smokes or vapes, she’s playing with her own health but not endangering anyone else's. This is different. Some people have the virus but exhibit no symptoms, so we all need to keep our guard up and be extra vigilant when we go out. If your camp is a day camp, and kids return home each day, this adds a risk. Masks are not expensive. Your camp should provide them if need be and enforce their wearing. Talk to your parents, counselor or head of camp so that everyone can do a better job abiding by rules and keeping each other safe. Masks save lives. I live in New York, too. Over 32,000 people have died in our state, a huge sad toll. But for the last four months, we’ve been putting on our masks and soaping up our hands and staying socially distant—and it has made a gigantic difference. Hospitalization rates plunged. In over 30 other states, however, COVID rates are rising — in large part because not enough people take masks seriously. It’s not political. It’s common sense. Bottom line, speak up. You have a right to feel safe at camp, and you may be doing others a favor too, even girls with no medical history. I wish you the best and I know we will get through this together. Hang in there!

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by GL | 7/27/2020