On October 20, 2021

How long until the governor does the right thing?

Dear Editor,

Covid cases are climbing around the state and Gov. Scott says “I don’t know why.”

The answer is obvious: the abandonment of the indoor mask mandate. This is causing serious outbreaks across the state, particularly in schools.

From the early days of the outbreak, Vermont was justly praised for keeping the numbers down. Gov. Scott and Dr. Levine were seen as thoughtful, smart leaders during the crisis. So why has Scott given up on the science?

A recent CDC study showed that schools that require masks have fewer case numbers. This is not surprising. Even more disturbing, the governor has forbidden individual towns — such as Brattleboro — from enacting their own mask mandates. During a recent visit to Massachusetts, we felt far safer, because many cities and towns require masks in all indoor settings.

When I called the Vermont Health Department to inquire — politely — about this change in policy, the woman who answered the phone hung up on me.

How many more children will miss more days of school and fall behind, yet again? How many more Vermonters will get sick, and possibly die, before the governor does the right thing?

Liza Ketchum, Dorset

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