To the editor: This past weekend, a local critical care nurse took her son for a haircut.

In the midst of cutting her son’s hair, the barber insulted and belittled her for wearing a face mask in the shop. “You think that napkin on your face is protecting you?”

That woman he so casually insulted (who was a paying customer) has gone in to work day after day to take care of critically ill people during this pandemic. In doing so, she has faced risks to herself and to her loved ones. She’s watched people die. She’s held the iPad while they called their loved ones to say goodbye. She’s talked to grieving family members. She takes that pain home with her every day. I realize our memories are pretty short, but she is one of those “health care heroes” that America praised in the beginning, then forgot about as wearing masks and taking precautions became inconvenient.

To that barber: It’s easy to take cheap shots at people, and you probably think this made you look good. I assure you it did nothing of the sort. You have that luxury because you haven’t spent the last two years as an active participant in human misery, suffering and death which you felt helpless to stop. Still feeling proud of yourself? The difference between that CCU nurse and you is that she wore a mask to your shop to protect you; because in case you haven’t noticed, we are still treating COVID patients in our hospital. She didn’t want to risk getting you, or your customers, infected. You would do well to take a lesson from her behavior. I’m not a nurse, and I’m not a hero. But I work with hundreds of heroes. Mister, you need to do better.

Katya Bowen, Pittsfield