To the editor:

If anyone calls you a sheep for wearing a face covering, take that as a badge of honor.

“Sheep” is an insult hurled towards those who wear masks during this pandemic. It is a term for timid, gullible people.

I think we should redefine the meaning of “sheep.” In Matthew 25:31-46, a passage called the Judgement of the Nations, God will separate people “as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” The “sheep” were the ones on God’s right hand while the “goats” were on the left. The “sheep” were the ones who took care of those who are the least of God’s family, including the sick. The “goats” failed to take care of the vulnerable. The “sheep” were considerate while the “goats” were not.

As COVID-19 impacts our lives, this disease disproportionately affects the most vulnerable of our society, including the elderly and those with certain health conditions. A growing amount of scientific research shows that wearing face coverings helps reduce the virus’s spread. These studies show that face coverings help block respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Masks prevent others from catching the virus from the mask wearer who may have COVID-19 but is not showing symptoms yet. Thus, wearing a face-covering protects other people, including the vulnerable.

As public health experts recommend face coverings, wouldn’t wearing them be another way to help the least among us? Would it be better to be a sheep?

Lewis Pifer

Conway

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