Letter: Masking should be a matter of personal and parental choice | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Masking should be a matter of personal and parental choice

The author of a letter printed Jan. 17 said she “won’t be back” to a local restaurant where the staff wasn’t masked. That is of course the author’s right: She is free to choose where she eats according to her own judgment about what is best for her health. And she is free, of course, to wear a mask herself for whatever reasons she thinks are appropriate.

We should all recognize, however, that different people will reach different conclusions about how best to protect their health and enjoy their life. There are sound reasons for believing that the risks now presented by COVID in 2022, not 2020, don’t require a return to the mask requirements and patron limitations that the letter recommends business to adopt.

Like the flu, the virus is something that we will live with, and move on. Local businesses will make the choices that they feel best serve their customers; local residents will choose the businesses that they patronize in turn. Speaking for myself, I very much prefer the casual spontaneity of a maskless environment. Judging from the patrons that I have seen when I eat out, I am by no means alone.

As for mask mandates in Steamboat’s schools, I would never substitute my judgment about what best serves a child’s health and well-being for the judgment of that child’s parents. There is substantial evidence that the harm to a child’s social development from going masked throughout the school day far exceeds the risks presented to children by COVID. Parents who accept that evidence should be free to send their children to school without masks; parents who feel differently can of course direct their children to wear them.

Alex Makowski

Steamboat Springs

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