Durangoans are known for their generosity in time and money. We have not seen any calculations that affirm that community quality, but it is in the air.
Happily wait for a driver to pull out of a parking space even though it isn’t a space that you want? Well, maybe not happily, but without tapping the horn or sending a message by sharply pulling out and around.
Today’s generosity, and it is a significant one, is not to do something that infects others with the coronavirus. “Oh, I’d never do that,” would be the honest reaction.
Fine. But this virus, which is especially easy to spread and very harmful for those with age and underlying health conditions, can be spread without you knowing you have it. In its early stage, apparently for several days, it is asymptomatic and may or may not be detected by test – and may be spread.
The importance of social distancing was embraced immediately at the end of February and in early March, while wearing a mask came later. Now, the distancing continues for good reason.
And it is all about the mask.
Do not inadvertently launch the virus toward someone nearby or let it hang in the air. The measurements have been made: A sneeze or a cough, or if you break into song, are at the high end of the scale. But even talking can push the virus several feet into the air, and it can remain for hours.
The city of Durango is mandating mask-wearing in public buildings and spaces, and also in private businesses and offices (“Durango to require masks in public spaces,” news, May 19). Those are locations where multiple people are likely to be, where they cannot maintain 6-foot social distancing and where there could be shared virus. Outside on sidewalks and trails, no, but be ready to put on a mask as you approach others. Enforcement will begin with education, we were pleased to see. That is the right approach. Seeing other communities bobble such efforts, it is all the more important Durango shows – and it can – we can do this.
We can increase voluntary compliance, especially now as we are starting to see more out-of-state visitors again.
The goal is to reopen the economy in thoughtful steps, as safely as we know how. The city taking this formal initiative is good. It will help. So will wearing a mask.