I tend to avoid giving attention to absurdity, but I am compelled to respond to the letter by Lynn Allen of Sept. 17: "There is another side to the mask story."

Ms. Allen, purporting to unprove the value of masks in limiting the spread of COVID-19, states "research" shows that masks cannot stop viral infection, and then offers an example from a single study related to influenza, not COVID-19. This is either an unintentional or purposeful misuse of research. She does make the point about how microscopic a virus is — a great reason to try to stop this virus' spread, which masks do accomplish.

Perhaps Ms. Allen is a believer in conspiracy theory, dangerously being spread, without basis, to believe that doctors and scientists have some dark end to gain by fooling the public. Unfortunately, 200,000 deaths and counting are not impressive enough to consider this virus "deadly."

Yes, Ms. Allen, the good Lord gave us a brain, and it would benefit us and our loved ones to use it instead of concluding what we prefer to believe, facts be damned.

By the way, Rev. Jane Nickell, whom Allen vilifies, is a Methodist minister, chaplain at Allegheny College and professor of religion.

STUART ROTHMAN

Meadville

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