Letter to the editor: Middlebury board should reconsider mask policy

Why wouldn’t a mask mandate for Middlebury be important for public safety?

On Tuesday I listened to a discussion of this question at the meeting of Middlebury’s selectboard. Four selectboard members spoke at length about why they would not want to pass a legal mandate to mask in public places in Middlebury. However, the board heard testimony from 20 Middlebury citizens who presented what I believe are compelling reasons why a mask mandate should be enacted.

A mandate would allow businesses to better protect their employees and those who come to their stores or offices. The library board now requires anyone coming to the library to mask. The recent problems with COVID at the college and the increase in the infection rate across this state indicate that the coronavirus problem is not going away soon, but right now is growing to be a more serious threat to the health and welfare of all Vermonters. It would not be necessary to burden the police with enforcement of a mask mandate; it is proven that just having a mandate in the law changes enough people’s behavior to make a significant difference. As more people become infected with the virus, hospitals across the state are reaching capacity. Doctors and nurses know that every effort must be made to turn the tide, and that should include a mask mandate at all public gatherings. Just declaring that masking is recommended is not enough.

I am asking other Middlebury citizens to join me in appealing to our selectboard to reconsider this matter at their next meeting and move to enact a mask mandate.

Rev. George Klohck


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