A day after the Centers for Disease Control announced coronavirus cases may be as much as ten times higher than reported, Iowa cases shot up for the second day in a row.

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced that over the 24-hour period that ended at 10 a.m. Friday, seven more people in Iowa died from the virus, bringing the total in the state to 701. Over that same 24-hour period, 493 people tested positive for coronavirus. The 24-hour period that ended at 10 a.m. Thursday showed 461 new cases of the virus.

While the numbers are alarming, especially as many states are seeing record cases, KCCI shows a combined 895 new cases over the same two days last week. Still, it's not the direction any of us want this to go.

The CDC continues to encourage Americans to wear masks because so many people have the virus and can pass on the virus, but don't exhibit symptoms. CNN says the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions of the country, in the extreme northeast, are the top two regions in the nation for citizens wearing masks at 64 and 59.5 percent, respectively. Our part of the country is eighth out of nine, at just 34.2 percent. Like most surveys, it's far from perfect with the sample size varying greatly from just over 300 to up to almost 1,300 people.

Are more Iowans than that wearing masks? It seems to me, it depends on the setting. At some stores, nearly everyone is wearing a mask and in others, almost no one is. I've also noticed that it seems as if when the staff is wearing masks, the customers are much more likely to be wearing them.

I know there's much disagreement about whether we should be forced into wearing masks. Honestly, I don't understand it. Sure, wearing a mask doesn't protect you, it protects others. For me, that's reason enough to wear one. After all, shouldn't we want to take care of each other?

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