As a village, Alfred continues to plan that all people visiting, living, learning, and earning, will share in the communal response to protect one another and themselves from corona virus infection. We should all aim to support the efforts at both Alfred State College and Alfred University to keep the entire valley healthy. Again the question, if we have an outbreak like so many other college towns around the US, how many of us will keep our jobs or our businesses? How many of us will stay healthy? How many of us will have access to adequate medical care in the case of an outbreak? We need a united healthy community to keep our valley safe and open! We’re on the right track, especially if everyone: residents, commuters, students, and employees make the simple effort to maintain social distance and wear a mask when six feet distance is not possible.
Wearing a mask or keeping a social distance of six feet in the Village of Alfred, is not asking any more than is already in force by local businesses as an order by New York State Department of Health. Both campuses have stricter codes for mask wearing. But for all debate and discussion our Local Law 2020-1 asks no more than simple common sense behaviors to protect the community’s economy and social interaction. I’m sure that landlords want tenants here. I’m sure that students want to learn and learn on campus. I know that faculty want to teach. I made a solid guess that no one wants to give up a job because their employer has to close down because of an outbreak. Remember, too, this disease kills, painfully. Survivors often bear long-term health consequences. Rugged individualism should not be a reason to destroy the health, living, learning and earning of approximately 5,000 people. Protection may take a few seconds of street encounters or a few minutes of masking indoors. Of course, the reasonable practices of hand washing and avoiding large groups also make a difference in stopping the spread.
There is a good deal of misinformation on social media. Police in the Village will not be stopping cars to check to see if masks are being worn by non-family members in the same vehicle. Police will be stopping cars that are breaking traffic laws. In those circumstances, mask laws could also be enforced. The same is true of “busting parties.” That oversight is up to the two campuses. Police will only enter private property (as with stopping cars) for probable or reasonable cause.
Frankly put, wearing a mask when social distance cannot be maintained is a commitment to the community to participate in keeping everyone healthy. Why is that such a problem? The US is approaching 200,000 deaths from corona virus infections or complications. Why is keeping our businesses and our fellow human beings healthy and alive and therefore our businesses, campuses, and community thriving bringing so much outcry, when it should be a matter of responsibility and humane respect for all around us? Mask up, please, to save your jobs, save our community and enjoy the benefits of happy, healthy neighbors and a bustling village. We are all in this together.