Letter to the editor:

Get prepared for the next virus

The Pentagon is sending 5 million respirator masks to civilian health authorities.

A study should be conducted of how effective these masks are, while immediately ramping up their production. Respirator masks should be produced like bullets or disposable contact lenses. Use the military and federal funds as needed. Once we have hundreds of millions of masks, they should be sent to all Americans so we can get back to work and school.

The alternative is 18 months of lockdown with government payments each month. How long can that last before complete financial ruin results? Keep in mind, the first vaccine tried might not work.

Also, as the global population rises, we will face new zoonotic bugs in the future. Having the ability to mass-produce masks will be a worthwhile investment since it will take time to produce vaccines for each future epidemic.

Masks are not very comfortable, so they should be made in different sizes and with comfort in mind. We can work in two-hour shifts for starters. We can hold harmless those who are uncomfortable returning to school or certain workplaces.

We can continue isolating the elderly and the vulnerable. We can continue practicing extreme social distancing until masks are proven to work and are available for all. We can continue testing and management, but we must do everything we can to win our fight against COVID-19.