Letters: Be a good neighbor and wear a mask in public

We have lived here in Princeton for almost 50 years. We raised our children here and have remained in our starter house. And during that time, I have been extremely proud and happy to be a resident of a wonderful community. But that has been changing. 

I guess that the Golden Rule no longer applies during this novel coronavirus crisis. My husband and I don masks every time we go past our driveway and plan to be out and about. It seems that our neighbors in Princeton do not act in the same way. We were out on Thursday, in and around Princeton University and on campus, and I would say that 95% of the people we saw were not wearing masks, and 0% of the young people.

What a great disappointment in this so-called enlightened community. Shame! Why should it be that we seem to care more about our neighbors than our neighbors care about us?  Why aren’t people wearing masks and practicing social distancing? Do people think they are above it all?

Alice K. Small


  1. Sorry, but there is considerable conflicting advice regarding the wearing of masks. Feel free to wear one, and if you choose to self isolate that is your choice. Many of us want to get on with life and its inherent risks.

    1. Dear Mr. Quinn, but that’s precisely the point. The mask protects me and others, and my mask protects you and others. You are not merely choosing for yourself but for others by not wearing a mask. It is not just a choice that affects you. Get on with your life by all means, but don’t endanger me. Alice K. Small

    2. Unfortunately, Dennis, you’re confirming Ms. Small’s point. You are not concerned about your neighbors. Wearing a mask helps protect others more than it protects the wearer, but if we all wear them, they are very helpful in lowering infection rates. Maybe your information on mask recommendations is out of date. The CDC recommends wearing a mask when you go out: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

      We all want to get on with life, but an inherent risk is one that’s unavoidable. By working together, we can avoid Covid-19 infections.

  2. I am proud to say here in West Windsor it appears we have full cooperation and consideration of our neighbors’ safety….practically everyone wears a mask and carefully social distances!!!

  3. Um, Dennis, buddy, I don’t think you understand why masks are recommended, and, in some circumstances, required. It’s not to “filter out” virus from the air to protect the wearer. If it were, then your argument that it’s a personal choice might hold up. However, the actual intention is primarily to protect not the wearer, but those around the wearer, who may be shedding virus in cough, sneezes, speech and even simple respiration. When you choose not to wear a mask, you choose potentially to expose those around you. You’re not sick, you say? Well, fact is, you wouldn’t necessarily know it if you were. You can be both asymptomatic AND contagious. Educate yourself, pal.

  4. @Dennis Yes, there is conflicting advice about the need to wear masks outside, but for safety’s sake, we should err on the side of caution as the risks are more borne mostly by certain subsets of the population.

    I was out today, wearing a mask whenever I got close to someone else, but saw groups of 10-15 people together in the local parks and there was not a mask in sight. This is exactly how we will see another flareup of the pandemic.

  5. If you are protecting others from you, then you are protecting yourself from them. Your belief is misguided and others understand the situation better than you do. Don’t expect them to follow your advice just because you think it is right. How did you choose the end of your driveway? You have been mildly brainwashed.

    There is a reason for separation. With sufficient separation, the virus won’t spread. There are many counties in this country where masks are not being worn, mostly, and there are no known infections.

    If everybody did not drive cars we would have no auto accidents. Likewise, if nobody rode horses, we would not have anybody getting injured by falls from horses.

  6. We go out as a family on walks and we keep to ourselves. We travel with masks and gloves and IF we were in a situation where we would need to interact with someone we would all don our masks and gloves. While walking in the great outdoors I don’t really see the point of the mask though. We’ll keep to ourselves and keep everyone safe.

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