Sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Now I must admit that when I first saw videos of people around the world wearing masks — I was nervous. I could remember as a kid seeing people on public transportation wearing masks and literally thought they were out of their mind. But I also reflected on how I would explain the importance of wearing a mask to my 4-year-old daughter Jenesis.

We turned wearing a mask into a fun game while also understanding how we were protecting those around us. While masks alone may not always prevent the spread of the disease, scientists and doctors agree that masks and face coverings can help to reduce the spread of coronavirus by 70%.

Living on the east side of Detroit, the region where COVID hit hard, we have seen firsthand the economic suffering but also the health implications. Now facing a second wave and flu season, it is important more than ever to keep those masks on. While masks do not have to be worn all the time when outside in public spaces, it is always a requirement when in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces.

To make life easier, I keep 3-4 masks in my car at any given time to reduce the risk of not having one when I need it. As a father, it is always important to me to stay prepared for the worst-case scenario. COVID-19 is a new virus and medical experts are learning more about the virus every day. While we are making incredible progress, there is still the potential for unknown and increased outbreaks. Did you know 40% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic? It’s so important to wear a mask and social distance, even when you feel healthy. And don’t forget to keep those hands clean! Wash your hands with soap and water often, and use hand sanitizer when a sink isn’t available.

As we know that life is all about change, there is no certainty on when things will “return to normal”. Wearing masks in public, crowded spaces may be the new normal. But one thing is for sure, we must hang on to hope of a brighter and safer future for everyone. That future requires a mask to be worn in unique circumstances. The world has already spread COVID, now more than ever before, we must work to spread hope. Let’s all come together and spread more hope.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering FREE COVID Tests across the state of Michigan. Go to to schedule your free test today.

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