Letter: Wearing masks is a sign of safety, consideration
As a second homeowner in Steamboat, I fully appreciated the request to not visit during the peak (so far) of the COVID-19 pandemic; healthcare resources in Steamboat are limited and should be available to residents.
The fast action to shutdown Colorado in mid-March clearly contained the spread of the virus. I imagine that, living full time in Steamboat with fewer than 100 reported positive test results in Routt County, the reality of COVID-19 seems pretty distant. I live in Philadelphia, and the reality is very different here and across the Northeast.
While runners and cyclists typically don’t wear masks, most people walking the streets and everyone who goes into a store wear masks. Not only is it required, it’s the considerate thing to do, since you can transmit the disease before you know you have it.
My husband and I would very much like to spend the summer in Steamboat, if permitted. But, if mask wearing in stores and restaurants is not universal, we’re not going to feel comfortable coming out.
Now I’m sure our two to three weekly restaurant meals and purchases in stores around Steamboat won’t make much of a difference, but if, in general, other second homeowners and tourists feel they won’t be safe in Steamboat, the local economy is going to continue to suffer. So I urge the residents of Routt County to adopt wearing masks in restaurants and stores as a sign to visitors that it is a safe place to visit.
Until there is an effective and widely distributed vaccine, we’re going to be living with this disease. People visiting will unknowingly bring it with them. To keep life and business going, the least we can all do is wear a mask when in a store or other enclosed public space.
Randy L. Thomas
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Steamboat Springs
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: