Letter: Make masks mandatory in Vail
Art and I add our support to the Saturday, June 20, citizen letter to Eagle County Public Health and Environment, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners, and the town of Vail. We urge that Vail, as a leading world resort, requires masks or face coverings in all public places.
Visiting Two Arrows, our favorite coffee shop and local small business, we see complacency regarding social distancing and public masks. Yet we know COVID-19 is again rapidly spreading nationwide and, reinforcing a lesson learned last March, bringing infection. We also know “I don’t care” behavior is already here among tourists and locals. Our guests are glad to get away from hot spots or masks. Vail feels safe. But when they bring the virus, our community and health services will not be able to stay on top of it and will suffer. And so will our economy. Therefore, we hope that the Vail Town Council will adopt and market (reinforce with signage) a responsible, safe mask policy.
Why push masks? Masks and social distancing are a front-line defense against community spread. There is proof that masks reduce droplet and aerosol transmission. For now, masks are the only barrier between you and an infected person and the best way to avoid giving or catching COVID-19 from others. Ask any national health leader or anyone working in close quarters: masks reduce transmission. They are easy, smart and common sense.
We don’t need to wait for the Eagle County Commissioners or the governor to make this decision. The mask message is that we care about the health and safety of our community. And that the COVID-19 battle is a long game with ski season around the corner. The actions we take now are important. Get the basics in place. I urge you to go with science and not politics to institute this requirement. Masks are only as annoying as you let them be. Let’s keep both small businesses like Two Arrows and established businesses, the community and the visiting public safer.
Art and Lindsay Reimers