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Greensboro teen pens heartfelt letter to encourage others to wear masks

Grace Layman has asthma. She hopes that by sharing why she wears a mask others will feel more inclined to.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A 16-year-old girl hopes other in the community will wear masks.

Grace Layman poured her heart on Facebook with her open letter "I wear a mask" after seeing backlash initially from Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan's face mask requirement.

"There was a lot of people saying there's no reason to wear a mask there's no benefit which obviously proven wrong multiple times by multiple studies. And so I just said a few of my reasons why I wear a mask personally," Layman said.

Grace Layman has asthma and must wear a mask in public for her health.

Since the start of the pandemic the Laymans knew they had to be careful but said they would wear masks regardless if Grace weren't asthmatic.

"It's difficult for us to understand why other people are so adamant about not wearing a mask because it's like wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts are required and we wer them to keep ourselves safe. We put kids in car seats to keep them safe," Mary Laman, Grace's mom said.

Medical experts now say wearing a mask is a crucial way to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Grace hopes that by sharing why she wears a mask others will feel more inclined to.

Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

I wear a mask because...

I wear a mask because I have asthma and am at risk if I contract COVID-19, I resonate with others who are at risk therefore I wear a mask for them and they and all others should wear a mask for me. I wish others know  how degrading it feels as  someone at risk to hear them say “I am a healthy person I should be able to do whatever I want, those who are sick or at risk should stay home.”

I wear a mask because cases continue to rise where I live.

I wear a mask because I understand that being young and “having a immune system” isn’t enough to protect me or others.

I wear a mask because I am educated enough to understand how easily sneeze and cough particles move.

I wear a mask because I am educated on the second and third wave of Spanish flu which were even more deadly than the first.

I wear a mask because while having some grasp on public health and biology I understand I am not a public health professional and therefore I should listen to those who are.

I wear a mask because I understand the importance of putting public health before my “personal freedoms”.

I wear a mask because I have elderly loved ones who I care about.

I wear a mask because I would like to be able to return to school sometime.

I wear a mask because I want my peers to graduate traditionally not in a drive through.

I wear a mask because I want to be able to attend college and enter the medical field.

I wear a mask because I care about the nurses and doctors who risk their lives everyday to keep others alive.

I wear a mask because I have compassion, I understand that by wearing a mask I am giving up some comfort in order to ensure others do not get sick and die.

I wear a mask because I love. I love those who I do not even know. I love them and I care for them and so I feel an obligation to protect them.

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