If life gives you lemons, try, try again!

A rolling stone, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!

Early to bed, early to rise, gathers no moss!

Mixed messages are very confusing. That’s kind of how the mask mandates have been handled recently. Wear or not to wear, that is the question. But mask wearing is also one of the answers to getting any control over what is now called, in some circles, a COVID plague. If people continue to refuse to be vaccinated, masks and space will be our only defense for years to come.

In a recent statement, Dr. J. Stacey Klutts from the Carver College of Medicine in Iowa provided some very sobering news about the delta variant of COVID-19:

Like Gorilla Glue: The variant is extremely effective in attaching to human cells. If the original variants were sticky like syrup, the variant is covered in ultra-fast-drying Gorilla Super Glue.

1,000 times higher: Two recent studies show the viral loads in the throats of infected patients are 1,000 times higher with the variant than with previous strains.

Much more infectious: This much higher viral load and the ultra stickiness for adhering to human cells makes it remarkably more infectious. Chickenpox and measles are about the only things that spread that efficiently from human to human.

Five days: The viral load in the throats of vaccinated people who become infected with the delta variant rises at an identical rate as unvaccinated people, but only for a few days. After five days, the viral loads of the vaccinated people drop dramatically. That means that an infected, vaccinated person can transmit this very infectious virus to others for at least a couple of days!

Vaccines don’t protect your throat: This means that the virus can affix to the throat of a vaccinated person, but when it tries to enter the cells, the antibodies produced by the vaccine are there waiting to fight it off.

What all this means is that I’m continuing to wear my mask. And, I’m encouraging Garden Terrace residents and visitors to wear a mask. And, I’m encouraging you to wear a mask.

The COVID delta variant is once again filling our hospitals to capacity and beyond. It is time to do the right thing. Mask up. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Ken Neher is executive director of Garden Terrace Senior Living in Wenatchee.