Letter: A mask mandate would help businesses, workers, our community | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: A mask mandate would help businesses, workers, our community

I appreciate the Routt County Board of Commissioners taking up the issue of implementing a new mask mandate, but I am very disappointed in their unanimous decision to vote against it.

Of course, a mask mandate is not the end-all, be-all solution that would make transmission of this incredibly infectious disease go away. But it could have helped slow it just enough to keep from taxing too many of our businesses all at once, as well as possibly having added more protection to those most vulnerable in our community.

To put it back onto the community to accept social responsibility to protect each other, or maybe even just to protect ourselves, is unfortunately not feasible in this political climate, where it’s likely that those who are against the vaccine and possibly even still believe that COVID-19 is a hoax are the very ones who are not wearing masks, social distancing or maybe even getting tested when symptoms develop. Many of us have lost that sense of duty to do what is best for our society.

There are those who still have to work in an environment where they are going to be exposed to customers who are not wearing masks. Yes, they can choose to wear masks themselves, but by being in close proximity to others not wearing masks, they are still inadvertently putting themselves at more of a risk to contract the virus.

I think the point for those small business owners who had asked for the mandate was that, with a county ordinance, they had a legal basis to ask those customers to wear masks without as much pushback. They would be less likely to lose those customers if everyone was required to wear a mask indoors.

I also believe that with headlines from around the country of hospitals being overwhelmed by patients with omicron, the “wait and see” attitude being taken by our commissioners for our own hospital is reckless, as once it becomes stressed it will be too late.

Wearing a mask is nothing more than an inconvenience for most of us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medial experts around the country are pleading for people to wear masks to help slow the spread. Hence, I believe the commissioners’ decision was not in the best interest of our community.

Kristin Lile

Steamboat Springs

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