Recently, we spent three days in Santa Fe to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Needless to say, we cut our visit short because of the rude behavior of its citizens.

On our first full day, we took a walk along the Santa Fe River Trail. While we only saw a few people, no one would speak to us unless we spoke to them.

No, we didn’t wear our masks, as we were outside. Some people wouldn’t even respond or look us in the eye when we said, “Good morning.” Sod off, Santa Fe.

Later that day, we toured downtown Santa Fe, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. As we were standing outside, yes, without our masks, a woman walks by and says, “Wearing a mask in Santa Fe is required.” Sod off, Santa Fe.

We learned of the Last Friday Art Trail while we were there and looked forward to the event. However, when we arrived at the Railyard, there was hardly a human in sight. We noticed a bar that was open with outdoor seating.

As we sat down, the man next to us asked why we weren’t wearing our masks. We replied, “Because we’re sitting down.” After a few comments that included him calling me names, he moved in a huff to another table. He wasn’t wearing a mask and none of the other customers was wearing masks, either. We left not giving our business to that establishment. Sod off, Santa Fe.

The friendliest people we met were from out of state — Idaho, Illinois and Colorado. Sod off, Santa Fe.

I have no doubt that everyone who reads this will satisfy themselves with their pious sanctimony about wearing a mask. Sorry, but I’m not joining the Cult of the Mask. Sod off, Santa Fe.

Chester Carthel is a native, proud Texan who has practiced engineering for over 35 years. He wrote this in October after a visit.

(102) comments

Crys Funderburg

Idk, but he needs to turn in his "Official Texan card" for using the phrase "Sod off."

Tom Hyland

This is a CDC report from May 2020 reporting that face masks are ineffective protection against air-borne viruses.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article#fn1

J.J. Glanton

1) This report was not written or sponsored by the CDC. It's from the University of Hong Kong. It was first published in February 2020, before the widespread use of masks-- or at least the recommendation to wear them.

2) The report itself is a review of previous studies of the effectiveness of mask wearing against influenza, conducted between 1946 and 2018. It does not mention COVID-19.

3) One of the study’s authors said the claim that masks do not provide protection amounts to an "incorrect interpretation" of the study, "confusing absence of evidence with evidence of absence."

4) As a bonus, the same co-author, along several coronavirus specialists, later published the results of clinical trial indicating "that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals." https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2

Other that, you're batting .1000, so keep posting links to things you found on the internet but didn't bother to read or try to understand.

Tom Hyland

The original publication was February 2020. The CDC placed this onto their website May 2020. I don't care if it was written in Hong Kong or Timbuktu. The CDC is the authority on the topic and they have placed this on their website to inform the public that face masks don't protect you from airborne viral pathogens. The Fauci himself proclaimed masks provide no protection at all against a virus. He said it can make people feel safer but these are only personal feelings, not science. You're the watchdog here J.J. apparently. Keeping everyone "safe?" Keep your mask on. Never take it off, even after you've been vaccinated. Because you are facing only a 99.9% chance of recovery if you should contract the virus take the vax as soon as you can.

Dale Lotreck

Hey y'all...me and the Misses will be in town from Lubbock and everything had better be perfect.

Tom Hyland

Howdy Dale. Everything is perfectly insane. You're entering 7,000 feet altitude and people are willingly suffocating themselves here. Observe the antics of the virtue-signaling herd in these parts. I'm sure you'll be amused.

Alan Jenkins

Sometimes the sh*t from Texas spatters....Sod Off!

christopher quintana

This was a joke right? Like a troll to rile everyone up ? Did Santa Fe actually get a bad Yelp review? Karen called for the manager? Funny. Relax, try and be kind to each other, wear a mask. Wash hands. So easy.

Harrison Hook

Here is a more relevant study https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818

Tom Hyland

Below in the comments Luanne Moyer told me if I don't think masks work would I please post some evidence. Here's proof of evidence.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

Gerald Montoya

Chester was just offended because no one noticed he wore his mask on the wrong end.

Harrison Hook

Why did the New Mexican print this dreck. Go suck a Texas chili-dog Chester.

Harrison Hook

Why was this dreck printed to begin with? P.S. Sounds like ol' Chester's been to merry ol' on a cultural raid, where they gladly took the p. out of him (also his watch and wallet) and left him with a colloquial chestnut. Bugger off to you Chester, is more correct. From Santa Fe? Go suck a Texas chili-dog Chester. Pendejo!

Tom Hyland

The reason why there are so many angry comments below this article is because of oxygen deprivation. Lack of oxygen can result in dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, unclear thinking and confused conversation. I've seen visitors to Santa Fe from places like Florida and New Jersey faint flat out onto the sidewalk! Happens all the time. We are at 7,000 feet elevation and you need all the oxygen you can get. So stop it with the silly masks. They are making you sick... and from reading the comments here... they are making you very grumpy. Glad you're sitting down.

Harrison Hook

Perhaps it's just dementia?

Jazz Elder

If masks do not work ..why have most all healthcare professionals wear them? And have been wearing them pre-pandemic. They must do something to help the spread of germs from person to person.

Please enlighten me on this.. they were not just invented for covid.

Richard Reinders

I have not seen anyone not wearing a mask in any business or close proximity to anyone in Santa Fe, NM but we are still having a spike like the rest of the country? I am not taking anyone's side just asking a question.

Harrison Hook

The M95 has been around over 100 years. Countries like Spain who masked during the "Spanish Flu" were very successful in containment. (real reason for the name). Meanwhile Woodrow Wilson either ignored the pandemic or supported non-maskers against the advise of doctors and scientists. In 1957 another flu outbreak threatened the baby boomers themselves. Ike supported science and told the American people to listen to scientists. That pandemic never happened.

Tom Hyland

In 2008 Anthony Fauci wrote a paper examining the massive death count attributed to the Spanish Flu. Fauci concluded, along with two other experts, that the vast loss of human life was caused by wearing masks. Interesting reading here and several other links you can peruse to learn more about that global disaster of old. https://tinyurl.com/yyld9fxt

Harrison Hook

The guys' accent sounds as phony as the report! Sure we're all going to die from bacteria in 2020 when we have antibiotics, and electronic washers and driers, and disinfectants, and awareness, many things missing in 1920. Antibiotics arrived in 1928. But, okay then. Wear a mask. Keep it clean. See a doctor if you feel sick. They have ways to tell if you have a virus like flu or covid, a bacterial infection or both, and treat accordingly, usually with antibiotics even with a virus to get any advantageous mask lurking virus just in case. Don't die from stupidity one way or another.

ROSEMARY ZIBART

I wonder if you went to the trouble of researching this "fact" -- I did. And I did find the paper written by Dr. Fauci on the Spanish Plague -- there's no mention of masks in the entire paper. Maybe you should check your sources. rz

J.J. Glanton

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that the paper co-authored by Dr. Fauci, cited above, does not in any way attribute deaths in the 1918 pandemic to mask-wearing, or even mention it.

Jim Klukkert

Tom Hyland-

What are you smoking dude?

Or are you just another Trumpian liar, or even better, an conspiracy theorist plying your trade?

Sheila Mabry

Sod off, Chester.

Comment deleted.
Karen Pacha Wasiolek

Yes, GO HOME Mr. Sod Off. No one wants you here!

Elizabeth Fuller

I've been visiting your fair city for a month now and have been overwhelmed at how pleasant, friendly and considerate Santa Feans are. I am a guest in this town, and I owe it to my hosts to obey their rules. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It is not for me to impose my views on the people of Santa Fe. Also, wearing a mask protects others, and probably not me at all. How could I ever justify imposing my virus on anyone else?

William Saunders

Should the hotel or wherever these people were staying be held accountable for not enforcing the quarantine orders? If you had landed in Hawaii and had no proof of a negative test you would be held in your hotel for that 14 day period. With no enforcement of the mandate, just where does the blame for all of the hateful comments lay? I once held a door open for a women who glared at me and said “OMG, just where are you from?”......Texas, I replied. Chivalry is not dead, no matter where I am.

I pay property taxes in both NM and Texas.

This Christmas, my wish for everyone is to have peace, joy, love, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and may this Holiday season bring out the best in all of us.

It seems that isn’t going to happen with all the comments I’ve read here.

Comment deleted.
Luanne Moyer

Tom Hyland, if you don't believe masks work (proof please) and you don't want to wear one, why don't you follow Chester back to Texas, or one of the other states where you can be "free".

Steven Salemi

Likewise I’m sure. This entitled out-of-stater seems to have confabulated unfriendliness with COVID-caution. They are unrelated. People may be forgiven for wishing to stay alive. Hospitals are full, Einstein!

N.B., you can always tell an Ugly American when they use British expressions like “SpotOn,” “Across the Pond,” “Sod Off,” “In Hospital,” “Take-Away,” etc.

Dino Medina

😂😂😂😂 Texans were never welcome in Santa Fe we just smiled and took your money.

Karla Harby

I do not speak to anyone outside who is not wearing a mask. I also try to avoid eye contact with anyone not wearing a mask. If you're close enough to hear me, you are supposed to be wearing a mask. I warmly greet people who are mask wearers. SOCIAL PRESSURE SAVES LIVES. It's as simple as that.

Russell Scanlon

I just moved to Santa Fe from Austin,Tx and I have had no problem with folks here at all. In Texas, a friendly hello can be followed pretty quickly by the question: “so. . .where do you worship?” As far as the mask issue—the Texas fellow is just being a jerk.

Khal Spencer

People's Republic of Austin to People's Republic of Santa Fe wouldn't be a bad transition. Nice thing about up here is the wealth of public land and open space. UT tried offering me a job about a decade ago. We did the "go down and kick the tires" trip on the area and decided to stay here, but I joked with my wife that living in Austin might be a little like living in West Berlin during the Cold War: rather than being surrounded by E. Germany, you are surrounded by Red Texas.

Russell Scanlon

It is a blue dot. Driving up here is like taking evasive maneuvers through hostile territory.

Khal Spencer

[lol]

cindy loeffler

Russell, You describe the journey well! We are Austinites about to move part time to the Santa Fe Area. I was mortified to read the op-ed piece this morning. Wearing a mask and respecting local rules is the very least we can do to keep each other safe and get through this.

Harrison Hook

Always been my read on Austin. We are at least in a blue curtain.

Stefanie Beninato

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Harrison Hook

Friendly hello is fine, a nod and tip of hat is better, but please no, do not ask me where I worship! To me that would prying and something I would only volunteer in trusted conversation in context, not as a how do you do and where do you pray, and to whom? I could be an atheist or Buddhist. Glad I don't live in Texas because I sense evangelicalism. Not really sure if you're suggesting that here or just sayin' that's the way in Texas, but IMHO not in Santa Fe.

Sue Kemner-Richardson

I was the woman who told him we were required to wear masks. He said, "on the Plaza?" incredulously. My husband said "it's the law". We were out for our first walk to the Plaza in six months and being very careful. Oh, well, this is why this country leads the world in infections.

Rob Stuart

Thank you for your community service!

Khal Spencer

Yep. The signs have been posted for months!

Khal Spencer

I won't get into the mask politics but do want to concur with our Texan visitor on one issue. Its my observation that greeting each other is fast becoming a lost art. I'm neither a MAGA aficianado or a maskless wonder, but it is infrequent that I get a return "hi" when I greet people on our sidewalks and trails. Especially with the younger crowd.

Maybe its just we are all in a bunker mentality or maybe the young-uns are too used to helicopter parents stoking fears, stories of bad guys behind bushes, and looking at smart phones rather than real people. Compared to other places I have been such as Upstate NY and Hawai'i (where "howzit" was near universal) we seem to be insular.

Kathleen Adams

Hey, Chester! Just think - no need to travel: you can be a jerk at home!

r pearson

Guess he wanted us to kiss his a$$ like most men of a certain age from Texas that come here with zero respect for the community.

Kathy Fish

I'm proud of Santa Feans for speaking their minds and treating this man the way he deserved. Downright gross behavior that makes Texans everywhere look bad. I have to wonder why the SFNM agreed to publish this piece, which flaunts anti-mask wearing behavior and endorses a major sense of entitlement, too. Is this a SFNM donor? Close friend of the editorial team? Eye rolling ensues.

Archer Hill

👍🏼

Raquel Casillas

Come on....stop the whining. Grow up. Help people and stop the self absorbed victim complaining. AFFSake wear the frikk'n mask.

Emily Hartigan

Please don't come back - but don't visit the places in Texas where I lived for 25 years, as you are too ignorant to be welcomed anywhere. I have dear friends who need protection from ignoramuses like you.

You were outside, knowing the law required a mask in any case, but you think you are a law unto yourself. So, stay unto yourself.

Mary McGuire

Mr. Carthel...you were a guest in our state, and in our capital city. Where I was brought up, we were taught how to behave as a guest, to show deference and respect to those we were visiting regardless of our personal preferences. You clearly missed that lesson along the way.

You knew you were not following our current public health requirements in the midst of a pandemic surge but still demanded to be welcomed with open arms. Our medical facilities are now preparing to have to ration hospital beds to those with the best chance of survival. I have many things I'd like to say to you, but will sum it up by saying, "Sod off, Mr. Carthel, sod off!"

Carol Maynard

Well said.

Carolyn DM

"SOD OFF"?! Seriously Chester? It's bad enough that all the sudden so many people, "are thinking of moving to Santa Fe", but we certainly don't need the silly little tourists who can't respect the mandates in our state for keeping people safe. So long, Chester!!

Lisa Adkins

Good job Santa Fe, we need to keep these science deniers out of our town. Terrible guest that don’t follow our rules are not welcome. Glad he left early.

Emily Hartigan

👍🏼

Sabine Strohem

Texas is one of the primary reasons our numbers are as high as they are. I'm glad you've written us off. Please, tell your maskhole friends too.

Carl Friedrichs

Santa Fe County New Mexico

3856 cases per 100,000

Confirmed cases 5787

Deaths 41

Lubbock County Texas

11,204 cases per 100,000

Confirmed cases 34,445

Deaths 402.

The evidence suggests masks are useful. From a native Texan who has lived in Santa Fe for 24 years, and practices medicine here.

Crys Funderburg

My husband is a patient of yours & really appreciated your comment.

Rob Stuart

Dear Santa Fe New Mexican, Please keep us informed and print this man's obituary when it becomes available shortly after he attends another worship service.

Comment deleted.
Anita McGinnis

Yes, he freely dared to express his thoughts. Let's form a dox mob and hunt him down. We could be like a junior wing of Antifa!

Betty Spaghetti

Foolish man to travel during a pandemic. In spite of your sullen letter you should consider your vacation a success.l for although you thumbed your nose at our requirements you were not financially fined nor tarred and feathered. Also even though you exhibited reckless behavior you (presumably) did not contract Covid

Betty Spaghetti

In spite of your foolish decision to travel during a pandemic you may consider your vacation a success. You were not tarred & feathered nor fined in spite on thumbing your nose at our rules and apparently in spite of your stupid actions ( or lack of appropriate actions) you did not contract Covid

Archer Hill

Ahh New Mexico...so far from Heaven, so close to texas...

Stefanie Beninato

[thumbup]

Cynthia Lamb

The feeling is mutual, Chester. If you can't respect our laws, stay in Texas.

John Cook

I have to wonder if the New Mexican checked with this fellow to see that he is the real deal. His piece reads like it was written by a smart liberal trying to make maskless Texans look bad.

Khal Spencer

Indeed, "sod off" is British slang.

Anita McGinnis

Khal, I wasn't aware that it's British slang, hadn't even noticed it until I heard it in an older British movie. I was wondering what "sod" means- Good heavens, it's worse that even the C-- -----se vixxrus word! It means, wait for it......sodomy , bugger . It's sort of meant to be a "mild," vulgar pejorative. If this is so, then why for the sake of refinement and decency is it plastered all over the New Mexican? I mean I'm shocked and offended.

Khal Spencer

Or as Captain Renault of Casablanca might say, "I'm shocked, shocked to find out that rudeness is going on in here"

Anita McGinnis

Poor resent rich, old-timers resent newcomers, locals resent tourists And vice versa until everyone becomes paranoid and threatening. This is the communist spirit; create chaos and anger, divide and conquer. Republicans and Democrats.... and the beat goes on. Everyone throws a twig into the fire until it consumes all of us.

Jim Klukkert

Anita McGinnis- Yes, the dirty Commies are fright here amongst us, and they are winning, whining & winning!

Thank goodness you pointed this out, Anita, or it might have gotten past the god fearing folks of Fanta Se!

Sheri VS

Obviously you never bothered to check out the Department of Health orders before you traveled to New Mexico. Your negligence caused your own problems. Quit blaming others and accept responsibility for your actions.

tai garden

I wonder if he washes his hands after he uses the bathroom and covers his nose when he sneezes. This is public health, not politics.

Luanne Moyer

Mr. Carthel is exactly the kind of person who gives tourist a bad name. We have seen it ourselves with tourist from California who expressed surprise that they were required to wear a mask and knew nothing about the 14 day quarantine. If you don't want to follow the policies that are in place, then don't come. And don't complain about how badly you were treated when you flaunt your contempt for us.

Khal Spencer

One thing I learned really fast on moving from Downstate New York to Hawai'i was that if one wanted to enjoy living there, one had to make certain social adjustments. Honolulu was not Suffolk County, Long Island. A few gentle reminders from the locals and kama'aina to respect local customs and traditions, lower the voice, and don't look people in the eye, for example, greatly facilitated my being served in restaurants and small businesses and not getting "stink eye" for behaving like a fresh off the boat East Coast %$#@!&* haole.

Well, Chester, yes, we do go a little overboard at times over masks but this is Santa Fe, not Texas. I'm sorry you got the equivalent of "stink eye" from some but frankly, we have been masking up here for months and there are signs all over the Plaza to mask up. I ride my bike through there a lot and see a lot of tourists ignoring those signs.

I don't know how you came across to we residents of our socialist paradise but if the treatment you got was unwarranted, you have my apology.

I will say though, from the tone of your letter, it seems you have your own attitude problem. So if the stink eye was deserved, by all means, don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

W Gordon Harris

Mr.Carthel: Did you and your spouse quarantine for 14 days after your arrival in New Mexico before you began celebrating your anniversary by walking the Plaza, going to restaurants, etc? If not, then you were violating a New Mexico Public Health Order. Please tell me which Texas laws you invite me to violate when I come visit your state. We're on the cusp of having to ration hospital care here, and this will inevitably mean additional covid-19 deaths due to our hospitals now having to care for numbers of patients beyond their capacity. You, and people like you, have contributed to the cause of this.

Mike Johnson

Well said Mr. Carthel. You are an intelligent person who knows the true, left wing/socialist soul of Fanta Se today. Smart people can tell the difference between a friendly and a nasty, judgmental, and vindictive city. I tell all of my out of state friends and relatives to never come to Fanta Se, it is as bad as it gets in America.

Richard Irell

Just curious as to why you choose to live in what you believe is the worst place in America. Is it because you feel it is your duty to educate all of us stupid people?

Mike Johnson

In addition Mr. Irell, my great grandfather knew well about "Santa Fe hospitality" when he arrived there in 1910 as a delegate to the NM Constitutional Convention. He recounted the numerous stories of his treatment at the hands of the locals that became family lore ever since.

Dino Medina

Pure BS

Patricia Greathouse

And yet you remain. Why?

Comment deleted.
Richard Irell

Given how many choose to live here, I would say that you are wrong. I find most New Mexicans to be good, generous, and friendly people. If you and your Texas buddy find otherwise, perhaps you should look at your attitudes.

Stefanie Beninato

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Charlotte Larragoite

Ridiculous and untrue. [thumbdown]

Comment deleted.
Mike Johnson

Seriously? Do you know how many Corvettes I have now and have owned in my lifetime? Obviously not, and no, I am not a Texan, but I do admire much about the Lone Star state that puts this pitiful dumpster fire of s state to shame, and has for over a century and a half......

Carolyn DM

Well then why don't you pack up all your Corvettes and haul them to Texas. There's probably enough room for all your cars and your narcissitic attitude!

Richard Reinders

[thumbup][thumbup]

Howard Griego

[rolleyes] you are an ungrateful little man, aren't you? Lol

Russell Scanlon

“Socialist soul?. . ‘. Hmm, perhaps it is time to recalibrate or lay off the sloganeering. The election is over.

Paul Groh

Hey Chester..since you had such an awful time here in our beautiful State Capital, where we care for one another by protecting one another by wearing masks and other public health measures...here’s hoping that we’ve seen the back of you and your spoise for the last time. Please don’t come back..in fact..sod off, Chester.

Charlotte Larragoite

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E P Johnson

Santa Fe New Mexican, why do you give this person prominent space in your newspaper to spread irresponsible and selfish views? The refusal of many to wear masks is killing us.

Charlotte Larragoite

My thoughts exactly. [thumbup]

Archer Hill

Ditto!!

Maria Bautista

BOOM. Newspaper has no other news? How about highlighting Santa Feans.

Rikki West

Sod for Texas, we don’t care about your dollars. Please tell all your Texan friends the terrible experience you had with Santa Feans who abide by the law, want to protect each other from a deadly virus and are conscious enough to remind others. Yes indeed, Sod Off Texas.

Charlotte Larragoite

[thumbup]

John Cook

I have to disagree, Rikki. Without Texans, Santa Fe would have no economy. Most Texans I meet are good people. Sad for them to be represented, today, by this fellow.

Ramon David

No economy? Tourism is about 13% of Santa Fe's economy. There is government retirees, finance....I doubt even half of those people come from Texas, so maybe we'd lose 5% at most.

https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/newmexico/NM_Visitor_Economic_Impact_2015_FINAL_7c937a91-e3de-4e78-a1f2-85c3c2371369.pdf

If we just lost the jerks like this guy, it would have a beneficial effect I am sure, if not just on quality of life. By the way New Mexican, why even print this? Do you think it's humorous?

Jitty Bap

Good riddance.

Charlotte Larragoite

[thumbup]

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