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Letter: Rights and responsibilities

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

As we are now in a phase of deciding, in most settings, for ourselves whether or not to wear a mask, I want to present this analogy for people to consider.

As a society, we recognize the right of an individual to smoke and to take those health risks upon themselves. We have also recognized the risk that second-hand smoke poses to those around a smoking person. We recognize the right of a non-smoker to be protected from that smoke. To put it bluntly, a person has the right to smoke, but they do not have the right to blow smoke in anyone else’s face. If someone is smoking in the corner of a room, soon everyone in the room can smell the smoke. If the smoking person leaves the room the smoke is still present, and if someone enters the room after the smoker leaves, the smoke is still there.

So it is with someone who is breathing out virus, only we have no odor to give us warning. Even fully vaccinated and boosted people may have COVID and be contagious bef...

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