Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Town majority wants mask law

In his Dec. 30 letter to the editor, Dr. Mayer’s point-by-point rebuttal to the town is a fact-based plea that eloquently begs the Middlebury selectboard to revisit its mask recommendation that relies on conscientious folks continuing to do the safe thing. I join him and the others who spoke up at the board’s Dec. 28 meeting in urging the selectboard to reconsider a mask mandate for public spaces in its jurisdiction.

We are however private citizens whose words and actions go only so far. On the other hand, we voters have vested the selectboard with the power to affect anyone associated with our town of Middlebury, visitors and residents alike.

Popularity shouldn’t be the issue here; community health is. Everything else radiates from that core premise. As Dr. Mayer implied, a (flexible) mandate can address both public health for patients/practitioners as well as commercial health for business owners.

Compared to a vaccine mandate, to put on a mask in public spaces is a small ask: C’mon, man! It’s harder to tie your shoes.

For those who see this crisis through a political/economic lens, I ask, “What is a life worth?” To me, it seems that you are OK with folks getting sick or dying if it means not reining in “civil liberties.” It’s much the same way we can excuse “collateral damage” as the price of waging war.

Enacting a mask mandate is a first, small step toward mitigating this devastating health crisis in our community, and a golden opportunity for the selectboard to do the right thing for posterity. It’s what the majority — we who elected you — wants.

Tricia Chatary

Middlebury

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