~ Submitted by Peter Ricci
When the Board of Health recently refused to reintroduce a mask mandate on the parameters that they could do so immediately in an emergency, it was disappointing. As a first responder, I have firsthand witnessed the grueling consequences that this pandemic has had on members of our community; our friends, family, and neighbors. This pandemic makes no friends and leaves devastation in its wrath.
As an involved member of the Bedford community, I realize there is much more at stake here. Our small businesses have been suffering since many were forced to close in March 2020. Their livelihoods disappeared as we entered an unknown path ahead. Yet, many months later, the possibility of a revival of such closures could reappear and create even more challenges. If we are not proactive, in what I consider a very small inconvenience, the use of masks and spacing indoors at this time, it is possible that we could see many other activities and outdoor events challenged again. I am confident that a majority of our residents would not like to see another abbreviated school year, abandoned sports programs, or halted music or arts programs.
The concern remains that if we do not take the correct action now, in an attempt to be proactive, we will be left to make rapid, possibly incorrect, or confusing actions later under haste, acting reactively to future developments.
Support wearing masks for just a little while to make sure our local businesses are not closed once again. Failure to do so could lead to the “normal” that we have been working to return to being delayed further. The possibility of leaving many in our community without means to provide for themselves and their families or enjoy the benefits of our Bedford life and community is not a reality I wish to support.
I encourage you to reach out to the Board of Health, Town Manager, and town leadership to support a return to indoor mask use.
The chance that this little inconvenience will benefit us is stronger than not; let us join communities like Arlington, Belmont, Salem, and Lexington and be proactive rather than reactive.