"When I go somewhere, I’m doing everything I can to protect you," Rebecca said in her column this week.

We teach kindergartners to cover their mouths when they cough.

Elmo and Rosita from Sesame Street sing a catchy little ditty called "The Right Way to Sneeze" to teach preschoolers how to sneeze or cough into their elbow. Maybe you’ve seen a little one do a vampire cough?

Why do we teach this? Besides Basic Manners 101? It isn’t to stop the kid from getting a cold. It’s to stop that adorable germ factory from infecting every playmate, teacher and lunch lady in a 50-mile radius. Everyone knows that little kids are Petri dishes on legs, so we teach them a few things to protect everyone around them.

This brings me to wearing masks in public. A practice strongly encouraged by a long list of health agencies and government bodies. Of course, there’s debate; that’s America. But, as for me, I will wear a mask.

I have been social distancing and washing my hands nearly raw. I have been disinfecting my house obsessively. I’m doing what I can to stay healthy. But I have gone to Kroger. I have banked at the drive-through window. An appliance repair person entered my home. I could have COVID-19 and not know it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a significant number of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.

Fear of getting the virus doesn’t prompt me to wear a mask, fear of infecting you prompts me to wear a mask.

You might not be as strong as I am. Or you might live with a law enforcement officer or vital health care worker. If I have it and give it to you because I thought masks were ridiculous, I’d never forgive myself. It also means this quarantine could go on longer. I don’t want to stay in my house anymore. I want to go to T.J. Maxx. I want to invite my dad over to celebrate his 77th birthday. I want my son to be unlaid off.

My mask isn’t about me, it’s about you. When I go somewhere, I’m doing everything I can to protect you. Wearing a mask isn’t a cure-all. It’s not a miracle solution. But it is a step I can take to avoid spreading my potential germs. The politeness is so basic, it can be explained to 3-year-olds watching "Sesame Street" in 30 seconds.

Plus, masks can be fun! When else in our lives are we going to able to dress like The Dread Pirate Roberts when going to the hardware store? Have fun with your mask. A friend has bedazzled hers. It’s festive. And honestly, as a 51-year-old lady, my jawline isn’t what it used to be. I’ve taken 10 years off my appearance by covering that chin waggle.

Sure, my glasses get foggy. Big deal. I am admittedly wimpy in several areas. I am afraid of roller coasters, mice and zombies. I don’t like it when my teeth scrape against a wooden Popsicle stick. Ewww. But even I, soft as I am, have enough grit to wear a tiny bit of cloth over my nose and mouth for the greater good.

Wearing a mask isn’t something I do because I’m afraid. When I see you in your mask, I don’t think, what a snowflake. I think thank you, fellow citizen, who doesn’t know me, but cares enough about my family, and my community, to wear a mask for this brief moment in history, in a hopefully long life.

Rebecca Regnier is an author and former television journalist. Visit her online at www.rebeccaregnier.com.