To The Editor:

When officials in Franklin County or any of its cities are considering how to balance the protection of the public from the coronavirus with the accompanying inconveniences of doing so, they may wish to consider the following sobering facts. Since the end of March, the number of reported cases of coronavirus infections has increased 122-fold in our county. In contract, reported infections in the City of St. Louis increased only 68-fold, and those in St. Louis County increased by only 65-fold. (All statistics are from the top of the front page of the Post-Dispatch for 3/30 and 9/15).

I understand the difficulties of trying to balance health concerns with other legitimate objectives such as the continued operation of local businesses, as well as individual personal freedoms. But I would respectfully suggest that at a minimum, the county should require that all employees of restaurants and bars be required to wear masks when on the job. Many if not most of those people appear to be in the age group which is now showing the highest rates of infection throughout the country.

The slight inconvenience to this relatively small number of individuals would easily justify the likely prevention of serious illness and possible deaths to the patrons of those establishments.

Even if this suggestion has to be implemented by restaurant and bar owners voluntarily, I believe it would actually work to their own financial advantage. I’m quite sure I am not the only person in the county who will no longer patronize restaurants where the staff is not wearing masks. I believe we are looking at a win-win situation here.