We are reaching out to you to express our medical opinion about the importance of masks to prevent the continual spread of COVID–19 in our community. As primary care doctors working on Marco Island for the last 15 years, we firmly believe that Marco Island should “opt-in” to the Collier County mask mandate that was passed on Tuesday, July 21st. The science firmly supports the use of masks to prevent the spread. There is NO evidence to show that masks do not work, nor harm to the wearer. With our older population, we are obligated to protect them. Mask wearing should be considered patriotic and a show of support for everyone in the community. When we all wear masks, we all have more freedom to live, even when COVID–19 is still with us.
Masks are now required in 28 states. States that currently have lower numbers than Florida. Marco Island has the strength, the intelligence and compassion to also mandate masks. As for the concern that masks will disrupt visitors and the economy, your other choice is a shutdown, which no one wants.
As for enforcement, there are many laws that people do not comply with, but yet we still enforce them. For instance, drivers still exceed the speed limits, but we still have set speed limits in place. Most small businesses are in favor of the mandate, so that they do not have to fight with customers in order to protect themselves and their staff. Our valuable workers in all of our stores need to be protected. You can protect them with a mask mandate.
Marco Island needs to “opt-in” to the mask mandate of Collier County.
As members of Marco Island, and caring for the people of Marco Island, we are here to help the city any way we can. Please feel free to reach out to us for any help in regard to this matter.
Robert Poling, MD and Patricia Poling, MD