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Reader: Be a Good Neighbor. Wear a Mask!

Jared Polis models a Colorado mask from phunksunwear.
Jared Polis models a Colorado mask from phunksunwear.

It's been just over a week since Governor Jared Polis announced that all Coloradans should be wearing masks...not the heavy-duty medical masks that are in short supply and should go to health-care workers and others on the frontline, but masks that people can make at home from spare fabric and even T-shirts, using their creativity. "It's human nature to go along with a trend," Polis said. "As more people start to wear masks, others will follow. So let's make it cool."

Some were quick to comply, in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19. But judging from the people we spotted in parks and other public places over the metro area this past week, others have been reluctant to don masks.

And readers have noticed. Says Shawn:

Thanks for talking about this, Westword. I live downtown and see a lot of joggers still out and not distancing from pedestrians, homeless people, and each other. Their "me time" is going to cost more stay-at-home time for everybody. Selfish pricks. 

Responds Kam:

 I’m very pro-stay at home, but it doesn’t mean 24/7. We need social distancing but you are allowed to go outside. People should exercise or walk their dogs or get groceries as long as you’re not breathing on someone. You can’t get sick because someone on the other side of the street walks by you. Wear a mask, wash your hands. It’s just common sense.

Comments Kevin:

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Not sure how it is within the Denver city limits, but I live in the southeast suburbs and I only see about one in ten people wearing masks while out in the neighborhood or at the grocery store. As over 20 percent  of people are asymptomatic, the purpose for the masks isn't so much to keep you from breathing the virus in, as to prevent you (unknowingly) from expelling the virus out into the community. Don't be lulled into thinking we're over this yet. Play it smart.

An analogy I heard the other day seems apt. Imagine someone gave you a bag of 200 M&Ms. But you were also told that a few were poisoned enough to kill you. What would you do? You'd throw the damn bag away! Better, you'd destroy the bag so no other poor, unsuspecting innocent person might accidentally eat the poison.

Same here. Be a good neighbor and citizen. It's the smallest thing you can do. Make a mask out of an old T-shirt (plenty of simple designs online) and help knock this thing back as fast as possible.

Replies Angie: 

Wore one to grocery store today but damn, are they hot and hard to breathe in!

Notes Greg: 

Personally, I think it's more to keep people from touching their mouth/face then anything else. Also a physical reminder of what is going on, and for you/I/us to remain vigilant of both our actions and those of others.

Responds John:

 If you are concerned about other people not wearing face masks, stay home. It's not mandatory. I walk 14.5 miles a day at work and can't wear one because it keeps me from breathing fully. So I don't wear one. Protect yourself and stop worrying about other people. Practice personal responsibility.

Apparently Leslie does, and promises: 

 I will body check a motherf#*%er who won’t move whilst jogging past me (not helping the social distancing), but bet they’ll rethink that mask next time.

Suggests Leo: 

It's because everyone thinks this is a goddamn vacation. People flood the parks, form groups of friends or families damn well over five people at a time, and make it difficult for people who actually run on a regular basis.

Adds Heather:

This isn’t a work vacation and completely disrespectful to healthcare workers and essential workers! I’m so sick of seeing the selfish, self-serving, F-everybody-else attitude that has become Colorado even before COVID-19!

Concludes Troy: 

Think about it beyond the individual level. It’s a rapidly spreading virus. Hand washing, staying home, social distancing and wearing masks are all ways to slow the spread of the virus. The more people do these things, the slower the virus will spread. Take care, everybody.

Are you wearing a mask? Do you think others should? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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