Carnes: Masks outdoors a personal choice |

Carnes: Masks outdoors a personal choice

The Vail Town Council voted last week against mandating an outdoor mask policy in town. Mayor Dave Chapin, serving in his elected role as Official Tiebreaker, was needed to tip the vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay,’ and was immediately attacked for doing so. In what often happens to the top dog in a vote, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I’m going to guess “Bones” wasn’t bothered in the least either way, because Mayor Dave is one of the nicest and well-intentioned citizens in this valley, and more informed about big and little picture scenarios than 99% of its inhabitants.

The man does his research.

Last week’s article by Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller shows ample proof as to only a piece of the information councilmembers needed to reach conclusions about wearing masks outdoors.

So three out of seven reached different findings, big deal, this is how policy directives are created in a democracy, and close votes such as this only serve to reinforce our democratic notion of majority rules in a positive light.

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Personally I applaud the decision (as if you couldn’t already tell), as most folks I see around town pull up their mask when coming in close contact with strangers, and almost all do so before walking inside anywhere. In fact, the only ones I’ve noticed being forced up and down Bridge Street are kids whining about wanting to return to the hotel so they can swim in the smoke-filled pool.

Last week we had dinner at Terra Bistro, and while walking around the Village saw nary a covered face outside, but many masks around necks and ears, and the only time I saw mask-less faces inside were those sitting at tables, eating and drinking to their vacationing heart’s content.

If you are not comfortable walking around town with someone not wearing masks every moment, don’t walk around town. If you are not allowed into a store or restaurant without wearing a mask, don’t go inside.

And don’t whine about it either way.

But on the plus side, “last call” has been pushed back all the way to 11 p.m. in Colorado bars and restaurants, providing one more hour to get hammered in a commercial environment.

What’s more important at the moment, in my opinion, is that there were no fans at the Indy 500 last Sunday, the announcement of no FIS races in North America (no Birds of Prey) and no fans allowed at the Broncos home opener against the Titans.

No, actually, those are selfish and not really that important, as I think the much bigger issue is kids and teachers returning to Colorado schools this week.

A recent study from the Mayo Clinic says one is 19 times more likely (“19” is one heckuva coincidence, but OK … ) to contract COVID-19 indoors than outdoors, helping to confirm the council vote.

So while I agree masks shouldn’t be mandated outside, it’s up to the individual when, if ever, to pull it up when outside, admittedly though that’s become even more prevalent lately due to the smoke.

In the meantime, the Trumplican National Convention is going on right now (I’m pretty sure the actual RNC will return in 2024), so hopefully we can all catch up on Scott Baio’s career, the Missouri couple that waved NRA donation pamphlets at protestors, Ted Nugent doing his best Yosemite Sam impression and the My Pillow guy peddling poison plants.

I’ve always wondered why all his pillows apparently come in a pointy pillowcase with two holes cut out for the eyes?

Anyway, good times, man, good times.


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