Masked Americans during the Spanish Flu of 1918.

Masking in the Glory

Tasting rooms finally reopen; grab your mask

By Hilary Berg

I don’t intend to sound sanctimonious — personally, preaching has always been a turn-off — but during these unsettling times, I must speak my mind as a concerned citizen and small business owner.  

Don’t worry, I’m not going to mention the upcoming national election or even the hot-button topic of whether toilet paper rolls should hang one way or the other — it IS over, not under, by the way. No, what I’m about to request, or remind, is quite simple: Please, wear a face mask in public.

Who wants to unnecessarily extend the misery and tragedy of the last two months? Who wants to revert to shuttered businesses or dash the hope that schools could open in the fall? Who wishes to watch helplessly as the death toll spikes again, only to learn the cluster is now in your own neighborhood?

The answer: NO ONE.

Wearing a face covering simply makes sense. Is it foolproof? No, but it does slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC now recommends people wear cloth masks — not the ones intended for healthcare workers — to protect others in case you’re infected. Masks are no substitute for social distancing or diligently washing hands, but they are essential tools in a limited toolbox.

A mask signals to others that you’re an active part of the solution, not the problem. It is also a matter of respecting members of your community and essential workers.

As tasting rooms open in wine country, remember to bring your mask. I know you can’t taste with one on, but during those moments when you’re not sipping — paying, visiting the bathroom, chatting long after the tasting has ended — you can cover your mug. Those behind the counter will appreciate it. Trust me.

If we don’t exercise even the simplest measures — MASKS — wineries will return to curbside delivery and empty patios.

Who wants that? NO ONE. 

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