“1 in 3 L.A. County residents have been infected by coronavirus, new estimate shows.” reads a January 14 LA Times headline, so it is time to add another element to the message, “Wear a mask properly to protect others as well as yourself.”

As a long time skin diver, I know the difference between a mask that provides a snug fit and one that leaks. With medical masks worn to reduce community Covid transmission, the difference is equally obvious to me. To function properly, the mask has to provide a reasonably leak proof seal around the nose and mouth of the wearer. I want to address the fit around the nose.

It is a simple matter to carefully form the thin metal strip to closely fit facial contours when wearing the mask properly with the top edge at the bridge of the nose — not hovering near the nostrils. Doing this keeps dangerous aerosols and droplets out, protecting the wearer. It also protects those near by from an infected wearer’s exhalations, coughs, laughter or whatever else comes out of their face. It also helps keep the mask in place, rather than slipping down below the nostrils as we saw with so many of the Congressmen testifying at the impeachment hearing last Wednesday.

Wearing a mask is a community responsibility. Wearing a mask in a stupid manner that leaks between nostrils and the surrounding air is, well, just plain stupid.

Be responsible and wear your mask properly!

Tim Tunks, Ocean Park Resident since 1976