Letter: Of masks and mottos

Published: 6/24/2020 12:01:25 AM

Did you notice the Burma Shave-style signs that were on Clinton Street and Loudon Road for the past few weeks? One set read: “Mask up, wash hands, six feet apart, and you can be a hero. We’re all in this together ’til covid drops to zero.” They encouraged people to follow the advice of infectious disease professionals who tell us this is the best way to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

According to David Brooks last week, we in New Hampshire still have a long way to go to meet our goals. The country as a whole is faring no better. Meanwhile, the president is pretending the pandemic is over. The governor is ending restrictions. Neither of them wear a mask in public, nor do many of our Republican legislators. Such signals encourage others to disregard the scientific evidence. Some people ridicule those they see wearing masks or protest when a store owner requires them. Recently, a woman who is running for the New Hampshire House told me she was free to go maskless, I was free to stay home forever, and frontline workers were free to quit their jobs.

Given the animosity of some toward mask-wearing and distancing, I’m surprised my signs lasted as long as they did. I have repaired or replaced them occasionally. The “MaskUp” sign incurred the most ire. Yesterday they were all tossed or taken. I have to wonder when “Live Free” came to mean “despite the harm it does.”



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