Does Concord need a mask ordinance? My answer is “yes” — and here is why.

First off, this is a public health emergency. And yes, we have avoided the worst of it so far in NH, but unless the majority of folks wear a mask in public places, we won’t be that lucky forever. Wearing a mask is good science, it just cuts the chances of infection by a huge percentage, and that helps us get to a place where we have better treatments – and maybe a vaccine.

Yes, it is an inconvenience; but so is telling smokers not to smoke in public places, or telling drivers not to drink before driving, or telling kids to wear a bike helmet. But that saves lives.

And, if everyone did it voluntarily, we would not need this. But, I have been in a few stores over the last months, and I am still amazed to see folks not wearing masks, or not wearing them properly. One man told a clerk that he “forgot” to put it on. If these folks are engaging in reckless behavior, not protecting others against the spread of a virus, then they are endangering us as a community.

Look, we are the state capital, and while the federal and state government have clearly punted, it our town that is a magnet to protestors who feel they are not be part of our society. They refuse to social distance or wear a mask, endangering our kids, our grandparents, our community.

So yes, it is an inconvenience, and yes, no one likes wearing a mask, but let’s just take the politics out of a common sense public health issue — we need to act to protect the health of community, and save lives.

-Jayme H. Simoes, Concord

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