There were 63,201 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. on Sunday, July 19. I was one of them.

While working from home, the company I work for began offering weekly, voluntary testing for the virus. I signed up more out of curiosity, thinking that I, surely, would not be one of the unlucky ones who catches it. I never expected to get the frightening phone call that my test result was positive. I haven’t had any contact with anyone showing any symptoms, I wash my hands frequently, avoid crowds and indoor spaces, try to maintain 6 feet of space from other people, and wear a mask whenever I go out. I like to run and stay physically fit, and have never had any serious medical conditions. I have no symptoms of COVID-19 and, thankfully, continue to feel physically normal. I had no reason to get tested, other than a box with a test kit showed up at my door once a week.

How many more are there like me? How many people are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers of the virus? How many cases, illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths can be prevented by wearing a mask? How many people have I prevented from infection by wearing a mask in public?

That’s why wearing a mask matters.

David Wray

Salt Lake City