The time has come for everyone to wear face masks/coverings when in public. The purpose is to keep people from transmitting the virus, not to keep them from getting the virus. Any other safety measures are insufficient.

The taking of temperatures before entering a facility is helpful only if someone is actively sick, but does nothing if that person has the virus but has no symptoms — they don’t even know they have the virus but are still contagious. They can infect others by sneezing or coughing, contaminating the air and any surfaces upon which their germs land. A face covering prevents droplets from even getting into the air, thereby dramatically reducing the spread of infection.

Since many people are still not wearing masks (either through a lack of understanding of how the virus spreads or rebellion because they believe it’s a hoax, or they feel it’s an infringement on their rights), it’s a good thing the governor made mask-wearing mandatory. I hope fines are issued to those who continue to endanger the rest of us. Mandated masks will allow stores to bar entry to the maskless, enhancing safety for the employees and customers. This is another tough measure for our governor to institute, but one only needs to look at our statistics compared to those of the states surrounding us to see how her early interventions have benefited us. Now, wearing masks may become the new normal.

Yes, we all want everyone to be able to get back to work and get our economy going again, but we can only do so by taming this virus. All those needing to get back to work should be willing to accept this sacrifice to do so. If everyone takes it seriously enough, New Mexico can be in the forefront of getting back to work. Perhaps a good slogan for this and to help people understand why they are wearing masks would be, “COVID-19 — Keep it to yourself.”

Jesse Allen writes from Santa Fe.

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(4) comments

Stefanie Beninato

You talk about the public wearing masks but you say nothing about store employees. I have seen several employees in groceries, nurseries and home depot/lowes types of businesses all without masks and without keeping social distancing.

Stores can require its customers to wear masks--they don't need a state- or city-ordered mandate. Today I was in a store and a customer was about 2 ft from the clerk and had her mask around her chin. I asked the clerk if wearing masks in the store was mandatory. She said yes. I then said but the women you are waiting on now has no mask on and she is endangering you. I think the woman wanted to give me a smart reply but instead she put her mask over her face. Thankfully. And guess what? You do not have to remove your mask to speak--it requires a little more voice projection that's all, and certainly you do not have to remove your mask to hear better or shake your head.

Joseph Tafoya

No one believes the virus should be treated as a hoax. At the beginning of the virus pandemic, it was more about controlling the virus. Now it's turning political and it's more about controlling the public than it is about the virus. If you would like to do a practical test of your mask. Put it on and take a household aerosol deodorizer. Spay a little into the air and take a deep breath. If you smell the deodorizer you may want to discard it. The virus will not have any problem passing through your mask.

David Mulberry

Answer me something..virus are small it can enter through the breathing holes...what makes you think they cant go through the breathing holes when you sneeze while wearing need special microscopes to see them they are that smsll..why are people getting it while you see pictures of the masses wearing them..we hear about hospital workers getting it..yet they are fully protected.......and why didnt the people wear thrm when the swine flu and other pandemics came about??? the political?.,,,,,nooooo

. Most viruses vary in diameter from 20 nanometres (nm; 0.0000008 inch) to 250–400 nm; the largest, however, measure about 500 nm in diameter and are about 700–1,000 nm in length. Only the largest and most complex viruses can be seen under the light microscope at the highest resolution. Any determination of the size of a virus also must take into account its shape, since different classes of viruses have distinctive shapes

David Mulberry

Add many other countries and states....Manilla population is required to wear masks under a very stricked penalty.....but look what is still happening....if someone wants to wear a mask..fine..but dont make it mandatory...

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