Letter: Please, wear a mask when you’re indoors in public spaces | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Please, wear a mask when you’re indoors in public spaces

It’s like tobacco smoke, only worse.

Years ago, in the 2000s, various municipalities and states began putting a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor venues. It took a while, but we eventually understood that even second-hand tobacco smoke was harmful to health. When one person smoked in a restaurant, the smoke traveled throughout the restaurant. It was not just the smoker who was affected; it was everyone in the room.

Infectious coronavirus particles travel through the air just like smoke. The six-foot distance rule becomes meaningless, as any distance indoors is dangerous. The impact on health is worse. Exposure to cigarette smoke may cause damage to your lungs over a prolonged period of time, but COVID-19 can kill quickly. Masks (and vaccinations) are the best way to stop the spread of the virus in enclosed spaces.

Detractors said that a smoking ban could never be enforced or that people would no longer congregate in restaurants and bars. But all of that proved wrong. Smoking in public places was banned because it was better for everyone’s health.

We can’t (and shouldn’t) ban people from congregating inside, but until this pandemic is truly over, we can ask people to wear masks indoors in public spaces when they are not eating or drinking. For now, please wear a mask indoors to help stop the spread of this miserable virus.

Anne Barounos

Steamboat Springs

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