SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - “We wear because we care” is the message City of Sikeston leaders and healthcare workers want to share as they encourage folks to mask up during the pandemic.
“There are plenty of people who are very vulnerable, and they need us to do our part to protect them,” said Eric Slaughter, Missouri Delta Medical Center Infection Prevention nurse.
City of Sikeston leaders, the Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Missouri Delta Medical Center are joining forces to encourage people to wear masks.
“CDC recently came out with a study that showed that even cloth face coverings offer up to 80 percent droplet coverage, so masks do work,” said Slaughter.
Slaughter said he knows firsthand how mask wearing can make a positive difference.
“I was one of those relatively asymptomatic COVID cases for the firsts eight days of my illness. The only symptom I had was a runny nose and this was in the fall,” he said.
Slaughter did not know he had COVID-19 during those eight days, so he still went to work. But he said he always wore a mask, and none of his coworkers caught the coronavirus from him.
“That was a true eye opener to me. Yes, that was when I said wow these really do work,” he said.
“We are encouraging people and asking them to do their part willingly to care for their neighbors, to love their neighbors,” said Jonathan Douglass, city manager in Sikeston.
The City of Sikeston and the Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce are starting the “Wear Because We Care” campaign. The Scott County Commission provided funding for 500 masks that they will give out to those who want to join in on the campaign. The masks were purchased using CARES Act funding.
“Right now, while people are tempted to gather and be together with family and friends, it’s especially important for people to wear masks and social distance,” said Douglass.
“This isn’t coercion. This isn’t about forcing people to wear masks. This is about wearing them for the right reasons because we care about each other and want to protect each other,” said Slaughter.
Slaughter also encouraged people to wear masks while shopping local over the holidays to help business owners stay healthy and keep their stores open.