Appreciating Brattleboro’s efforts to keep residents, visitors safe

BRATTLEBORO — As Physician Assistant Amy Neal wrote in The Commons, “We are doing our very best, but we are drowning [....] Please wear your masks and please get vaccinated. We know these things work. [...] We care about you and your family members. Please help us, so we can help the community.”

In a letter to VTDigger's editor on Jan. 6, Linda Roy, a retired Brattleboro resident, expresses unhappiness with a mask mandate in town, stating the town is trying to control her. She says she'll take all of her business to New Hampshire; that Brattleboro will get none of her money except her taxes.

As a Brattleboro resident, I'm thankful Ms. Roy's had her Covid shot. That makes her part of a noble team striving to save lives and reduce suffering, both her own and her neighbors', across the region. Wearing a mask would magnify that protection for herself and those around her.

The dedicated people who care for our sick have been overburdened for more than two years.

Ms. Neal's in the thick of it, in our emergency departments in Brattleboro and Keene, caring for people we know.

The town of Brattleboro follows science: masks slow or stop transmission of Covid and other organisms we spread with every breath, whether we are vaccinated or not. Our health-care workers, our child-care and school staff, our shopkeepers and all who provide us with services deserve at least that.

I'm retired, too, and happy to be here in Brattleboro, with its mask mandate and thoughtful policies. This is about pulling together, taking care of each other. What the town gets out of a mask mandate is less exposure to a frightening, potentially deadly illness for residents and visitors alike.

We can definitely improve the outcome. I'm happy to wear a mask on both sides of the river, to avoid unknowingly carrying Covid to a neighbor.

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