Kerri, Please Wear a Mask

Kerri Walsh in the Olympics

This is an open letter to my former schoolmate Kerri Walsh Jennings and the rest of the country who is misinformed about wearing masks. Worth noting; both Kerri and I went to Baymonte Christian School and Archbishop Mitty High School simultaneously in the 90’s.

Early September 2020, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Kerri Walsh Jennings mocked wearing a mask while shopping at a store. I was shocked and disappointed with Kerri's lack of judgment. This post is in response to her Instagram post and Kerri's misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution.

Seatbelts save lives. Driving the speed limit saves lives. Not driving while drunk, impaired, intoxicated, distracted, or negligently saves lives. Not only does following the law save the life of the driver, but it also shields the life of others. By LAW, we are told to obey the speed limit, wear seat belts, and conform to the road rules. In the United States, there were 33,654 fatal car accidents in 2018, which resulted in the death of 36,560 people. But let's look at seatbelts. I often feel that seatbelts are a nuisance. They will wrinkle my clothing, sometimes they lock up for no reason, and gosh, they feel weird on my body. But I know that wearing a seatbelt increases my odds of not dying in a car accident. Also, I have had some pretty hard days at work, and the thought of cracking a cold one on the drive home would be lovely, but you know that is against the law. Fantastic, so wearing a facemask is a lot like wearing a seatbelt and not driving impaired; it could significantly increase the odds of my life being saved in the event of an accident. A significant difference between facemask guidelines and driving laws is that there are enforceable laws today. Like driving laws and seatbelts, we know that facemasks do save lives. They protect the lives of those wearing them; more importantly, they protect those at higher risk of contracting the virus. Facemasks mandates, like seatbelts laws, started as guidelines, some strongly worded recommendations, but they weren't always the law.

If you believe that wearing a facemask is an infringement on your rights, imagine if you're the one who is asymptomatic with COVID-19, and your refusal to wear a mask kills one or more people. What would you say to the family who lost a mother, a sister, a father, or grandfather because of your fear that the government is taking away your freedom by strongly suggesting you wear a mask? The risk to yourself and others outweighs the argument not to wear a mask. I know this comes as a shock, but it isn't about you as much as it is about everybody else trying not to die.

I can't imagine what it is like to always be in the public eye; however, it is crucial to protect those who worship you by setting the right example. This isn't political; this isn't a left-wing or right-wing issue. COVID-19 is non-discriminatory in its killing. Science, medical experts, and common sense all dictate that to save lives, we all must wear masks and separate for the time being. So I ask you, Kerri, as a human, as a former friend and classmate, are you available to set the right example and help stop the spread of COVID-19?