For me, the ongoing spread of COVID-19 is potentially a life-threatening event. It all started in November 2016 when consistent severe back pain led me to the local emergency room, which revealed three compression fractures in the middle of my back. No history of trauma was evident so a referral to an orthopedic surgeon also revealed no causative factors. Based on a suspicion of cancer, blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy were ordered. The results were less than positive — I had multiple myeloma — an incurable bone marrow cancer.

Seeking treatment from an oncologist, I was placed on a weekly regimen of chemotherapy injections with monthly infusions of a bone calcium supplement that continue to this day. My healthy white blood cells were being replaced by cancerous cells, significantly impacting my immune system. Since 2016, I have been consciously avoiding crowds, tight quarters and generally unhealthy environments. It has been my own COVID quarantine well before COVID raised its ugly head.

And now it’s serious. Most who suffer from multiple myeloma die from pneumonia as a result of exposure to bacteria or viruses. Any infection, even a common cold, could have devastating impacts on my respiratory health.

So this is why people need to use face coverings. I avoid circumstances where people are not heeding this important advice. You may have a mild cold or unwitting infection with COVID-19, shedding the virus as you cough, exhale or even speak, which puts me and people with my affliction at great risk.

Face coverings are not an infringement on your rights — it is an exposure reduction measure for people like me. Please heed this guidance. It can mean life or death. Please wear a mask.

Tom Herod


(24) comments


I am a Trump supporter and I think you have real concerns and I wear a mask when I'm out wherever I am required to do so. I am married to a cancer survivor and your issues are very real. Here's an honest question: Before COVID, if someone with your immune issue was out and about, you would have the same concern about your health from catching a cold, pnenomonia or something else. Yet, no one wore masks. Once we have a COVID vaccine are you suggesting we all wear masks out all the time? How did you protect yourself before COVID?


Thanks for wearing your mask when required to do so. Would that the man you support had done the same and encouraged his followers to do it - the ones who don't do what you do. Things would be better - not cured, but better.

Greg F

Thanks for wearing a mask. To answer your question, you likely already have been told that this is NOT like the flu, and is far more contagious and deadly than either of them. There is far less known about this virus as well. This is AS BAD so far as 1918, and the end result will be the same sort of numbers we saw then if we keep doing what we are now...which is dammed near nothing as a country thanks to Trump and his assaults on sanity, CDC, WHO and NIH as well as doctors now. China and other Asian countries have been wearing masks for decades already...yet we stubbornly don't. We have a POTUS who is violently anti-mask, anti-science, and promotes anti-vaccine propaganda. When you say you are a trump supporter and want us to do the right things, one of those right things is NOT to vote for a guy who is purposefully thwarting any rational COVID plan, and has literally announce he is giving up controlling the virus. I'll wear a mask either way, and a good one (KN95 or better), but I will not piss away my vote on someone who simply cares nothing about other people.


Most Trump supporters do not care about others, which is why so few wear masks.


Thanks for the letter. This shouldn't be that hard to comprehend and a few months of mask wearing would help kick the virus to the curb. Take care of each other please.


.PS Lowering the mask to TALK is WRONG. When you are masked and silent you endanger no one. We can hear you thru your mask. If we can't, we are still safer not hearing what you have to say.


Yep. I have some hearing loss and most of the time when a store clerk is talking to me it sounds like they are talking through a pillow. I just ask them to speak up. So far not a one of them has pulled their mask down, they just speak up.

Common sense isn't always so common.



I turn my head so my ear is facing them and put a hand to my ear. They get the message. I have tinnitus and some other damage where certain high pitched noises (baby or young children screaming) actually cause pain as if someone cupped their hands and slammed them to both ears.


I'm with you all the way, MD1756. Hearing aids also amplify unwanted sounds as well.


Greg F

Keeping your mask off your nose is no good you will breath using the path of least resistance...your nose. Duh.


Whatever your personal political leanings, we really need a national conversation about shared responsibility to our fellow countrymen. We really need to take seriously our stewardship of each other.


Yes, we really do need to take seriously our stewardship of each other and that's why I wear a mask whenever required or indicated by the situation. It's sad that everything is so political that even a common-sense protective measure is a flashpoint for some.

Motorcycle helmets are another flashpoint and some states don't require them. I wear one anytime I'm riding and only hope that the idiots who refuse to wear a helmet are organ donors.

Any day this side of the grass is a good day.





Whatsamatter, Fido, cant find any hateful comments? Life this side of the grass is good. [thumbup][ninja]


You spew your hate all day and then throw in some goody goody two shoes comment like this one. “take seriously our stewardship of each other”....😂🤣😘😇


You need to review some of your own comments here, Fido, and see who shouts the most hate and vitriol (all caps is shouting) day after day. So much that you can't stand it when someone posts something positive about watching out for each other by wearing a mask. You are indeed a sad sack, and come across on the FNP as a bitter and cranky old curmudgeon. I do hope you are nicer in person. In the meantime, have a nice day this side of the grass.



Trumpers think only of their own”freedom”. They couldn’t care less about protecting anyone else.


That's a broad generalization. Much like all Democrats are socialists. [lol][ninja]


Wow where did that come from?


It's just typical BS from a typical Trump hater, buckster. I'm a Trump supporter and I wear a mask any time and any place I'm required to, as do my Trump supporting friends. The Trump haters just like to show their ignorance with comments like that, that's all.



Greg F

Rugrats. Sheesh

Greg F

Wearing a mask means it goes OVER your nose too! Your rug tats also need to wear them, and really do you need all 7 of them in the store with you running all over most of the time not wearing or wearing a mask wrong? Have some responsibility!


People are so selfish these days that most have no thought of others but instead follow the incorrect guidance from Trump and his underlings.

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