To The Editor:

Reckless.  Senseless.  Ridiculous.  Disrespectful.  These are a few words to describe Paul Hartshorn's comparison of a mask requirement to communism.  Back it up, Paul. You are a select board member. Instead of making such charges against town residents who are concerned about public health, you should listen, learn and know what you are talking about. The coronavirus is often carried without symptoms so an unknowing infected person's breath or occasional cough or sneeze can spread this aggressive, virulent, life-threatening disease. Masks are science-proven to sharply reduce COVID-19 transmission. 

My wife, a health care worker serving pregnant women and babies, can't afford to pick up the virus from someone at a grocery store and, despite the extreme care being taken in medical offices, possibly pass it on to an expecting mom (and expecting moms, especially those in poor health, are pretty worried about COVID-19 -- it's a scary time to be pregnant for many women).  She and others, notably people who are immune-compromised and whose freedom to go to the grocery store is eliminated when they have to ask others to do their grocery shopping, should not have to deal with the threat to their health and livelihood when someone else won't wear a face mask because their concept of liberty includes the freedom to make other people deathly sick. 

Kudos to Brian and Jon for supporting the proposed mask ordinance. We can hope that Darryl and Kellee will reconsider and come around. Mr. Hartshorn, even if your mind is set against a mask requirement, please apologize for implying that I and others are communists for supporting a mask requirement. Please stop making baseless, inflammatory, derogatory comments about your neighbors and constituents. This is a community of caring people, all of whom deserve your respect.

Ned Farquhar