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UPMC Williamsport professional and daughter urge readers to wear masks

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Susan Branton, pictured left, and her daughter, Samantha Branton, pose for the camera wearing their masks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

WILLIAMSPORT — “I think everyone has to realize COVID doesn’t select who it is going to affect,” Dr. Susan Branton, UPMC Williamsport medical staff president and UPMC Susquehanna Breast Health Center medical director, said. “It can affect anyone across the board. It is important to step away from yourself and we all have a responsibility for each other to protect each other equally.”

Her daughter, Samantha Branton, is a student at University of Pittsburgh, and has taken the pandemic very seriously since the beginning. Not only so she could be able to go to school in person, but also to ensure that her family and her mom are safe, so she can still see patients in person.

“I am more concerned because I don’t want to take anything back to my mom,” she said. “I am more inclined to stay home. It has been different, but I have taken on that responsibility.”

For her, she noticed that the school and even the students took masking mandates very seriously.

She added that she hadn’t really heard any student complain about the masking and that she believes the common belief was that if they all mask up, they can be in school together as a class.

“Wearing a mask is more about getting back to a normal life,” she added.

“It (masking) serves a dual purpose,” Susan continued. “It protects our community by protecting us from spreading it, but it also is protective for ourselves. Right now with the rates being high, it is a simple thing we can ask of everybody to do, to help stop the spread.”

Susan even said that masking has helped lessen influenza this year as well.

“I think it is important to carry on through (with masking),” she said. “We (health care workers) want to keep our community as healthy as we possibly can and to decrease the burden on healthcare facilities and workers… to also ensure that the patients are getting the best care that they need.”

“The healthcare system is being significantly impacted,” she continued. “We are seeing a lot of patients and we need a lot of help. It is a benefit to the community to be as responsible as they can.”

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