I just read Christopher Ross’s piece on mask wearing in Bristol. I agree with the wearing of masks in public. It is such a simple and proactive measure to take and agree it should have been mandated long ago, but understand our governor’s position, too.  What I don’t understand is what in the 2nd Amendment gives the right for someone to wear a gun into a Laundromat, of all places. Shocked, dismayed and horrified don’t begin to express how I really feel about it. I lived in Philadelphia (in a very dicey neighborhood) for 25 years and never felt the fear I feel today. CG Duff Middlebury

GOV. PHIL SCOTT, shown earlier this summer, says wearing face coverings will help Vermonters protect the progress we’ve made against coronavirus as COVID-19 explodes elsewhere. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
VERMONT — Maura Donnelly, who owns the Bristol children’s shop Simon Says on Main Street, was pleased that Gov. Phil Scott has mandated Vermonters to wear masks in public beginning Aug. 1. “I think it’s awesome,” she told the Independent on Monday. “Very late, but I’m glad to see it.” Earlier this month, a couple of Donnelly’s teenage employees were accosted by an adult customer who refused to wear a mask in the shop, even though a sign outside clearly indicated it was required. Donnelly detailed the incident, which had upset her employees, in a July 12 letter to the Bristol selectboard, and...
With Gov. Phil Scott’s declaration that everyone in the state should don facemasks when inside public establishments and when social distancing is not possible outside, Vermont just might be one of the few states to stay ahead of this pandemic’s rapid spread. The governor’s timing was particularly relevant as college towns and ski resorts faced the daunting task of having people comply with wearing a mask absent a statewide policy. For those readers who may be riding the fence on the effectiveness of wearing a mask, just look at the proof: Throughout the world, in areas where the public has...

Gov. Phil Scott announced a mask mandate during his COVID-19 press briefing on July 24, 2020. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger
Gov. Phil Scott on Friday ordered people in Vermont to cover their faces when out in public. The Republican governor said that while Vermont’s COVID-19 infection rate is still among the lowest in the country, a rise in cases elsewhere in the U.S. has put Vermont on the defense. Scott has long resisted a mandate, saying that education is the best way to get people to wear masks when in public. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia now require most people to cover their faces when out in public, according to the AARP. But on Friday, Scott noted that cases are still surging elsewhere in...
If government makes you wear a facemask to help ward off the spread of the coronavirus, has it trampled on your freedom, your personal liberty?  If government decides, instead, to forgo a legally enforceable mandate on mask wearing, has it trampled on your right or your neighbors’ to stay healthy, to keep a job, to benefit from the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? This is the paradox of personal liberty, which George Washington clearly understood when he transmitted the newly drafted Constitution to Congress more than two centuries ago.  Liberty, he and the other...
FERRISBURGH — After a discussion likely to play out around other selectboard and council tables around Vermont in the weeks to come, the Ferrisburgh selectboard on Tuesday stopped short of requiring town residents to wear masks when they cast votes in upcoming August and November elections. They did however say the town’s election materials would make it clear residents should wear masks to protect their health and the safety of the town’s paid and volunteer poll workers. “We’ll strongly recommend masks in our announcements going forward,” said Board Chairwoman Jessica James at the conclusion...
The top contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in August are criticizing Gov. Phil Scott for his reluctance to mandate face coverings in public spaces, even as almost every other governor in the Northeast has come around to the idea.  Scott’s handling of the coronavirus has been largely applauded by his Democratic rivals, who have focused their attacks on the governor’s opposition to progressive climate policies, paid family leave and a $15 minimum wage.  However, as Vermont has become a regional outlier on the issue of face masks, and with weeks until the primaries, initial...
It’s remarkable to me how guidance to put a cloth covering on our face sparks debate, resentment or even anger. Why is something so trivial so hotly contested? Why do those who refuse to do so feel shamed by those who do? Perhaps it’s because the perceived criticism finds its mark. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”  Those who would assert their “freedom” to not wear a mask, regardless of its impact on the larger public, have become complacent in the languor of freedoms gained by those who fought and died for them throughout the nation’s history. In World War II, when more than 400,...
Regardless of political persuasion and a strong belief in individual rights, the novel COVID-19 virus only seeks cells to invade in any host available. It is a successful and sneaky expert in doing so. We have the freedom here to use medical knowledge and information to protect ourselves, each other, and the economic recovery by freely choosing to do one simple thing: Wear a mask in public and in indoor spaces where the public interacts. We can “win.” We can shut down the virus by our knowledge and actions. I have been impressed with Phil Scott’s management of the health and economic threats...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a coronavirus-related resolution directing all people to wear face coverings in public settings (or outdoors) in Middlebury where it isn’t possible to maintain a 6-foot buffer between the next closest person. The resolution wasn’t forceful enough for the approximately 20 people who had urged the board to pass an ordinance requiring the wearing of face coverings or be subject to police action. But board members argued they had heard from other merchants and residents who believed an ordinance would be too heavy-handed, and...


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100