I find it very alarming to see the increasing COVID infection rate, especially here in Utah. 

As someone who has worn a mask for hours a day since March, I cannot fathom why the mask became a point of contention. Now our ICUs are strained and patients can get turned away. What has happened to our sense of community?

As a doctor, I took a pledge to not permit “considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient.” 

So yes, whatever your standing in life, I will treat you with the care you not only need but deserve when you present to my office. And I will do my best to help you — or to at least “first, do no harm” (Latin: primum non nocere).

However, the idea of primum non nocere is actually not the main mission of the health profession because every prescription, procedure or order carries with it risks which hopefully do not outweigh benefits. But perhaps in these, our pandemic days, this phrase has found its truest meaning. For if you wear your mask, then you are for certain “first, doing no harm” — to your family, friends, the community at large and even better, to the medical health workers whose help you may eventually seek.

If we continue to ignore the recommendations to wash our hands regularly, distance socially, and most importantly, wear a mask, then every member of the medical profession as well as every essential worker who has been dubbed a “hero” cannot sustainably serve in their respective professions. So step up. Be our hero — first, do no harm by wearing your mask. Protect us so we can protect you.

Annliza Piacitelli

South Jordan