CDC face mask

CDC face mask

A CDC illustration shows that a cloth mask should cover a person’s nose and mouth.

BOONE — Beginning Saturday, June 20, face coverings are required to be worn by all persons in indoor commercial businesses and town offices in the town of Boone, with some exceptions, after a 3-2 vote of the Boone Town Council on June 16.

The council reconsidered a mask mandate upon the request of Councilperson Sam Furgiuele, who first made a motion to require face coverings to be worn by the public at a May 26 meeting of the council. The motion failed at that time by a vote of 2-3, with Councilperson Loretta Clawson joining Furgiuele in favor but Councilpersons Dustin Hicks, Nancy LaPlaca and Connie Ulmer voting against the motion.

Furgiuele asked the council to reconsider the restriction because COVID-19 case numbers have continued to increase locally and across the state, and because he has observed many people who are not wearing masks in public, even in establishments where signage asks or directs customers to wear masks.

“There are very few people who are wearing masks and many who are ignoring social distancing,” Furgiuele stated in meeting materials. “Masks have been shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of the virus, and we should take this small step to try to protect the employees in Boone businesses, Boone residents and our visitors.”

The amendment to the town’s state of emergency declaration states that in any commercial business or town office, in an area that is open to the general public, all customers, employees and any other occupants or users of such area shall wear a face covering. While wearing a face covering, social distancing (six feet) shall still be maintained so far as possible.

The amendment makes exceptions for: people who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral health condition; children under 11; customers at restaurants who are seated at their tables; law enforcement officers or emergency responders who reasonably deem it necessary to remove a face covering in the course of his or her duties; a person complying with directions issued by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or criminal investigation; and a person who reasonably deems it necessary to remove his or her face covering for safety reasons or in order to carry out his or her job duties.

Violation of the restriction would be punishable by a class 2 misdemeanor, but police would be directed to first educate upon the first offense, and then give a warning before citing someone with a violation.

The restriction was slated to take effect at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 20, with enforcement of any penalties to be delayed by an additional three weeks.

“In my 20-plus years (on the council), I believe this is the most important vote I have ever cast,” Clawson said. “This vote is about saving lives.”

Hicks, LaPlaca and Ulmer expressed varying concerns about how the restriction would be enforced by police. Hicks suggested that the council spend more time discussing the responsibilities of officers and their methods for enforcing the restriction, but Furgiuele pressed the council to move forward.

“Every day that we delay we are putting more lives at risk unnecessarily,” Furgiuele said.

LaPlaca said she could not “support anything that criminalizes behavior by so many unknowing people who come into our town.” She added that she took issue with comments that she felt suggested that supporters of the mandate cared about people while those who were opposed “want people dead.”

Ulmer recalled recent assertions that businesses want to do the right thing with regard to the virus.

“My question is why aren’t they mandating in their restaurants that (people) wear masks?” she said, similar to “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policies. Ulmer ultimately voiced support for the restriction as a temporary measure and joined Furgiuele and Clawson in voting for the motion, with Hicks and LaPlaca against.

The council heard from a number of people on both sides of the mask issue during the June 16 meeting’s public comment period. Tom McLaughlin said he wants to see businesses open back up, which is why he supports mandated mask usage.

“I don’t think we can rely on voluntary good behavior,” McLaughlin said.

Karen Sabo also spoke in support in a statement she submitted to the council, saying, “Those who go without (masks) are selfishly putting their own comfort over the health of the community.”

Other commenters questioned the efficacy of masks and characterized the mandate as authoritarian.

“My health is my concern and not to be dictated by a government body,” said Erik Lanier in a statement.

Boone joins the cities of Raleigh, Asheville, Durham and the counties of Orange, Durham and Buncombe in requiring face coverings in certain public areas. On June 18, Gov. Roy Cooper said state leaders were contemplating a statewide mask mandate, with an announcement to come next week.

“New research shows that this is an incredibly effective tool,” Cooper said, referencing a recent study led by Texas A&M University that found that face coverings “significantly reduces the number of infections.” The study estimated that the use of face coverings alone reduced the number of infections by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9.

Asked if mask wearing should be a matter of personal responsibility, Cooper said, “I think public health is a priority, and there are laws in place that allow protections for the public health.”

In other action at the June regular monthly council meetings, the council voted to approve the 2020-21 town budget, with $16.5 million in General Fund expenditures and total spending of $28.2 million.

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(74) comments


A NIOSH N95 HEPA mask is not the same as wearing a surgical mask or cloth mask. OSHA is not involved in regulating the usage of a simple face mask which is used primarily for the protection of those other than the wearer. And according to the CDC, a simple cloth or surgical mask is effective in reducing transmissions of Covid.

I suggest employers check the osha legal requirements if their business is requiring employees to wear respirators, which if open to the public, they now must do. They are required by law to have have a written respiratory protection program with worksite specific procedures. The program must be administered by a suitably trained program administrator. The employer shall select an NIOSH certified respirator to be used in compliance with the conditions of its certification. The employer is required by law to have medical evaluations done on all employees required to use a respirator to determine the employees ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace. The employer shall provide respirators, training, and medical evaluations at no cost to the employee. Employers may be unknowingly setting themselves up for lawsuits if they do not follow the OSHA mandates.

Kinney R. Baughman


Good thing no one is requiring anyone to use respirators then, isn't it?

That’s the grown up word for mask genius

And Kinney you seem to have compassion for the elderly but none for the cooks in the 120 degree kitchens and waitstaff that are running back and forth to make sure you have plenty of iced tea to drink. All I am saying is if it’s gonna be a requirement to be able to work, employers must be willing to follow the law as mandated by OSHA. After all it’s about the safety of our fellow citizens isn’t it?

Kinney R. Baughman

@brownemtrout. No. It's not. A respirator, as you have pointed out - very well, I might add - requires training and people who wear them are subject to re-training on them. I happen to know this because I support the safety office at ASU who does that training for the University.

A mask is a face covering that anyone can wear and doesn't require training.

And homemade cloth masks are useless and unsanitary. The only type that could possibly provide a benefit are the m95 or better respirators and if any employer is requiring these or any other face covering that limits your breathing capacity should at the least be following standards set forth by OSHA. After all it’s about public health correct? And since you played the ASU card, I have a degree in biooogy from ASU, although I am not a doctor I did share many courses with peers that are now doctors (physiology, microbiology) and interact with doctors on a regular basis. In fact our pediatrician apologized to my wife and I for being required to wear a mask on our last visit and said she would not wear her mask in public despite all the condescending looks from others at the grocery store.


Wow, and apparently your degree in "biooogy" has not done you much good. For. The. Last. Time. This is *not* about protecting YOU, this is about *reducing* the spread of airborne particles to others, which masks, even homemade cloth masks, have been shown to do, even if only in small amounts. Are they as effective as proper respirators? Of course not! Are they better than nothing? According to the majority of most recent studies: YES.

BTW, anecdotal evidence is great and all, but care to tell us who your pediatrician is? If not, can only assume that this is completely bogus. A pediatrician is *not* an expert in infectious diseases, btw...but I guess you missed that during your time studying "biooogy"

Masks are by no means perfect. The point is that it's an extremely easy action that *everyone* can make to help *reduce* the spread of the virus. No one is saying that it's going to prevent you from contracting it, eliminate it entirely, etc. It's simply an act of common courtesy to those around you, to help *reduce* the likelihood of you spreading it to others in the case that you may be pre-/asymptomatic.

So once again: Are you capable of answering the simple question of *why* this is such a big deal for you? Why is it such a burden for you to wear a mask when in public? Do you have *any* actual reasoning, or do you just enjoy getting off on being a contrarian like so many others on this page?

If cloth face coverings provided any benefit at all then wouldn’t they in fact be limiting your ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the atmosphere? This is why OSHA mandates employers to provide medical evaluations for any employee required to wear any form of respirator to ensure their physiology will not be negatively impacted by the body’s decreased ability for gaseous exchange. I figured you guys would be all for protecting employees, are you not? If your gonna do it, why not follow these safety precautions? Once it gets hot outside masks could really become a problem. Why not have police enforce a policy of no mask wearing if you’re operating an automobile and you’re the only one in the car? If an old person, or any person was to pass out while driving down king street the results could be catastrophic. And do you know who will paying out any settlements? It’s not the council members, it’s the taxpayers. If you guys want to simultaneously destroy our local businesses that would be tragic for many of our friends and neighbors, but hey there’s a lot of folks out there, that are truly the backbone of our community, that can’t afford descent housing. So maybe some good can come from this. Anyway I have voiced my opinion and hope you guys will not succumb to the mass hysteria. I’ll be the guy driving my truck alone without a mask.



That's it. I'm out. You claim to have a degree in biology, yet your comments are nothing but an embarrassment to our education system. You're completely incapable, or unwilling, to answer a simple question. You're apparently incapable, or unwilling, to do an ounce of research. NO ONE is saying you have to wear your mask in your own automobile, why do you feel the need to make strawman arguments to defend your BS position? You're not even willing to answer a simple question when asked directly. Clearly you're embarrassed by your own ignorance and the fact that you have no excuse for your stance other than sheer selfishness and an inflated ego. Bless your heart.

The only thing greater than your ignorance, is your arrogance in expressing it. and

Kinney R. Baughman

@brownemtrout. Sorry to push back again but they are not useless. They can become unsanitary. I give you that. You are correct about m95 masks being the best to protect you and others. But we need to make sure our health professionals get those first, so we fall back to the next best available item we have, cloth or paper masks.

As has been stated countless times, wearing a face covering is about showing respect for others and providing more protection for you than going without one does. No one, least of all me, is arguing that any of this is going to give us 100% protection. But people want to open the economy back up - which I am all for - and the price for doing that, short of a vaccine, is wearing the best mask possible when going inside a public place.

Shopping then becomes an acceptable risk most of us are willing to accept. It's a step forward. It's not the end of the game.

Having said that, It doesn't get us to the place where dorms can be opened and we have thousands of students living together inside in a closed environment. But that's the subject of another discussion. I bring it up to point out we do what we can, where we can, to keep moving forward.

To your point that face coverings are useless:


Anyway do what makes you feel safe and my family that has been making an effort to support local restaurants (proper, the pedalin pig, taqueria El Paso, river street ale house) by ordering takeout a couple times a week if possible, will increase our support of the fine folks in mountain city. And yes it’s safe over there and everything is cheaper and sharpies makes a delicious cheeseburger.


I may disagree with your previous points, and the fact that you seem to refuse to answer a simple question. BUT I will give credit where credit is due. Props to you for supporting local restaurants, I personally have no interest in eating out *in* a restaurant anytime soon, but my family has also been doing takeout 1-2x a week to help support our friends and neighbors, as well.

All we're asking, and all the town of Boone is asking, is to have some basic decency and courtesy for those around you. If you are willing to accept the fact that clothing is required to engage in public activities, why is being asked to wear a mask during a global pandemic such a big deal to you?

Kinney R. Baughman

@brownemtrout. I thought we had already agreed that no one is requiring anyone to wear a respirator.

It goes without saying, that those of us advocating for wearing masks in public are interested in protecting employees, our fellow shoppers and ourselves. You don't think we're doing this just for sport, do you?

The ordinance does not speak to wearing masks outside. As I have seen this thing develop, I'm becoming more and more convinced they are rarely needed outside unless you're shoulder to shoulder in a crowd which rarely happens in Boone.

It's a Straw Man to argue against people wearing masks in cars when that's not part of the discussion. So there's no merit to raising the fear that police will be pulling people over for not having one on while driving. I usually take my mask off as soon as I leave a store - I don't LIKE wearing them anymore than you do - and never wear one in my car. So your fears about old people passing out while driving their cars is a Red Herring and unfounded.

I guess I'm going to have to repeat this for about the 20th time: The mask ordinance is PRECISELY about getting the backbone of our community back to work, safely and productively. It is the nay-sayer's who are putting each other and our businesses at risk. It's stunning that after all the discussions we have had the past 24 hours that you remain stuck in your original position, blinders on, yielding no quarter.

We've lost more people to Covid-19 than we lost in WWI. This is not mass hysteria. This is real. You think the pandemic is nothing. I think it's just beginning.

If I see you in your truck driving around, I'll be sure and wave. You'll finally be able to see my face because I won't have a mask on either ... because I'll be in my car and not in public.

Peace. Stay safe out there.

Ha! Failing to do any research? The information and guidelines I provided came straight off OSHA website. It’s called part 1910, Title Respiratory Protection. (1910.134- Respiratory Protection). You can easily find it with a little research. So we need to be safe, but not too safe? Right?

Should read “short run” and not “shoestring”. Sorry.

We are in a big tourist area with people coming from outside our area. Many of these tourists are not practicing safe habits which endangers all of us. In the shoestring run this may not be good for business, but is necessary to protect our local population.

Like people from West Palm Beach who probably should have just stayed this year to protect the locals of Watauga County?



Kinney R. Baughman

@br_nc. Sigh. One whole day of discussion and we've gotten nowhere.

Everyone is welcome in Boone. We ask that they would, as the science is encouraging us to do, use the only tool we have in our toolbox to drive down Covid so we can return to life and business as usual, as quickly as we can. And that's use a mask in public when in confined spaces.

Please come to Boone. Please spend your money. Please respect yourself and others by wearing a mask when in our stores.

What has happened to us?

Why are we are fighting on how or whether it's a good idea to protect each other? Our parents and grandparents sacrificed far more than this during WWII for the good of our country.

Have we become so divided that we can't talk about the best way to work together for the common good anymore?

Peace everyone.

chicken littles....more testing = more cases. If you're worried, stay home or avoid crowds. If not, go out but don't be stupid.

Kinney R. Baughman


Not sure where you're coming from with your comment.

The mask law is so we CAN go out.

It's precisely the opposite of stupid.

Why can't we open businesses back up AND show common decency and respect for each other?

When did those two roads diverge in the woods?

give me a break Kinney - so you wear it to the restaurant but allowed to take it off to eat.......see where this is going. You keep saying open up open up as long as you wear a mask but allowed to take it off. I'm with Andy, tired of the chicken little mentality by boone. Also, most deaths percentage wise are elderly or with pre-existing conditions. Guess what, they need to use the same precautions as they would with the flu. Gov't overreach plain and simple. Wake up


Ahh. And there it is. The answer to the question that none of y'all have been willing to answer up to this point: *why* wearing a mask is such a big deal for you.

It's all about the fact that it's coming down from a government body. So your reaction is to then immediately oppose it and do the opposite, because you know: oppression and overreach. Congratulations, you've reached the maturity level of a toddler. Daddy/Mommy said this: so I'm gonna do the opposite, BECAUSE!

For real though. This has nothing to do with protecting your health. All that is being asked is that you cover your face when going into public where you may be coming into contact with that exact population that you mentioned, as a curtesy to *them* and their health and well being. It;s truly sad that ya'll are actively refusing such a simple task, to be considerate to one's neighbors, purely out of political spite.

Please grow up.

Kinney R. Baughman


I'd be happy to give you a break, my friend. But you're going to have to do more than just ask for it.

The council is trying as hard as they can to keep us safe while meeting the nay-sayers half-way whenever possible. Yes. When you're at your table you, of course, have to remove the mask to eat. But when you get up to go to the restroom or pay, they ask you to put it back on. There's no Slippery Slope here. Quit insinuating that it is.

Why is this such a difficult thing to understand? Why all the push back? Do you want business to open back up or not? Why does the price of opening business have to be the endangerment of the lives of Boone residents who are elderly and suffer from pre-existing conditions? What's with the heartless attitude towards the elderly?

Wearing masks is pro-business. I honestly don't get the attitude that it isn't.

Here's the deal, for the umpteenth millionth time:

You can spread Covid-19 without being symptomatic. We are getting ready to get flooded with tourists coming in from feeder states all around us where Covid is spiking like a big dog.

Now consider that you, me or one of our friends needs to buy a gallon of milk and one of these surreptitious Covid spreaders coughs within 6 feet of us. Now we're both likely to have caught the virus, in the eye perhaps because that's a possibility, and all because of a thoughtless tourist who thinks all rules are temporarily suspended because he's on vacation.

IF he had had a mask on, you and I would both likely walk out of the grocery store Covid free and not risk spreading it to our family, one of our elderly friends, parents or grandparents.

If you really want to open things back up and aren't just interested in arguing for the sake of arguing, wear a mask.

It's such a stupidly simple thing to do that those who insist it isn't necessary is ... well, you finish the argument yourself.

Same scenario, however they are wearing a mask, and they sneeze into the mask, but now have to readjust it before they get frowned upon. They also want milk and grab a gallon, but see there is one with a better date in back. Kinney comes along grabs that gallon and takes it back to his mask wearing family. Well you can see where this is going. Good luck with your masks and your false sense of security

Be aware! The hotels are NOT being honest with you. We were assured last weekend there was no COVID in the hotel. We, along g with countless other older persons booked a room for the weekend. We asked the front desk at check in if there were any COVID patients staying there. We were told no. Only to learn the next morning there two COVID patients quarantining there. We had a right NOT to stay there. They risked the lives of countless people. We learned they had a contract where 25% of the bill is paid by the state. 75% by the federal government. They LIED to us about it. I have contacted our attorney to deal with this. OUTRAGEOUS! Could the council be motivated by money? Where are the purported journalist?


Comments i read recently from another reader:

The CDC said masks weren't necessary for regular citizens.

Then they took it back

The WHO announced that a-symtomatic spread is rare.

Then they took it back.

The New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet published a study on the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

Then they took it back.

The Gov of New Jersey announced yesterday that outdoor gatherings over 100 people are not allowed due to COVID--Unless it's a "1st Amendment protected" gathering..

In that case, he takes it back.

The American people trusted their officials

and then they took it back.


The world used to be the center of the universe.

Then they took it back.

Disease used to be caused by bad spirits.

Then they took it back

Cigarettes used to be "good for you"

Then they took it back.

Wow, it's almost like with a scientific worldview one continually strives for truth and works to adapt to changing conditions based on new data. Imagine that!


Interesting, your examples occurred over decades or even centuries, while the events I site happened over just a couple of months. Nice try, but the facts persist, our current authorities have switched their stances several times, most notably with protests. As citizens protested in Raleigh the shut down, our Gov said protesting wasn't an essential activity and needed to stop by police force and of course, then he took it back with the George Floyd situation. Explain that and now we see virus cases increasing. Coincidence?


Oh I'm sorry, didn't realize that the point of your original argument was time (err, rather the quote you took from someone else...) Way to move the goal post! But if that's the game you want to play, fine. I'll do you one better:

Not 24 hours before the fission chain reaction was proven in a lab, a number of the world's top physicists claimed it would *never* be possible.

Then they took it back.

Nice try though!

If you want to debate the merits of your new argument, fine, but maybe first you ought to take a general course in logic and/or debate...


Question for y'all that are so horribly offended by having to wear a piece of fabric in public during a global pandemic:

Is it the fact that this is a gvt. institution telling you that you need to wear a mask in public, or what? If it were a private business, would you support their right to deny you service for not wearing a mask? Because many of y'all self-proclaimed "conservatives" seem totally cool with individual rights until you happen to disagree with the premises. Some of ya'll are so profoundly hypocritical it borders on mental illness...


Nope! "My body...My choice!" Right dems??


Yup, my business, my right to deny you service for being a public health hazard!


Kinney R. Baughman

@Cliven. All right! 2nd bit of sarcasm in this thread from someone on the Right.

I'm encouraged. Generally speaking, sarcasm flies right over their heads.

We can all be glad you at least see the moral implications with what I assume is your otherwise pro-life stance on abortion.

But it's a false analogy, nonetheless.

This is much more along the lines of wearing a seat belt ... for your safety, wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle ... for your safety, strapping in a child to a car seat ... for its safety or not driving 80 mph in a 25 mph speed zone ... for everyone's safety.

It's a simple request to put a stupid mask on for 20 - 30 minutes while you shop. It says nothing else about anything. Stay focused.


We have let the ASU faculty and students elect a strongly liberal and far left authoritarian town council (and County Supervisors), so this is what we get! We know how to protect ourselves with distancing, wear masks when in an inside crowded room, wash our hands and disinfect constantly. We do not need a bunch of authoritarian officials to hold our hands and then tie them down! The pandemic has become a means for the far left Dem's and socialists to gain power over Americans who want to keep our guns and hold our Bibles close to our families and protect them against this far left agenda! Get out of our faces and let us go back to work, shop, visit friends and enjoy our God given freedoms. Go back to your liberal caves and hide from every possible danger and let us go back to our normal lives!


Donald. You clearly don't get out much. Go around town on any normal day and only ~30% of folks are actually wearing masks, including inside. THIS is why we need enforcement. It's not asking much.

And if you're so concerned about authoritarianism, where is your outrage RE: Trump? The level of your cognitive dissonance is truly astounding.

Not even a resident of the county - nice try at the online trolling


Me? Cause I've lived in Watauga for the past 17 years...

Kinney R. Baughman

Donald. I think you need to take your grief up with Covid-19 instead of pulling out the "authoritarian" card, then falling down the Slippery Slope towards socialism, taking away your guns and your Bibles. None of that has anything to do with the fact that people can spread Covid-19 without exhibiting symptoms and masks are our only defense against them until a vaccine comes out. This ordinance doesn't prevent you from visiting your friends, it encourages you to shop and do so safely to protect everyone's freedoms, especially that one about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Peace.


Yes and where are the students that voted these people into office? They were told by the Chancellor to return to their HOMETOWNS. This is not their hometown therefore they should not vote in our elections.

Kinney R. Baughman

@Roadking. You mean these people who are trying to open businesses back up safely while implementing the only defense we have against the spread of Covid-19 in the middle of a pandemic??

So you have a problem with a Town Council that looks out for your health, safety and welfare as well as your prosperity?

Curious times, these.


I simply refuse to let Sam F. control my life and my actions. I hope the people of our town find their voices and STAND UP against this insanity. Is Sam functioning with full mental capacity? Has anyone looked into that? I have my reservations based on his actions. This isn't about safety. It's about control and one man's agenda to cause chaos in our town. Instead of supporting local businesses, and allowing them to once again THRIVE, he is creating destructive barriers. I encourage people to Stand Up against this nonsense!


Then move. What's that line that conservatives *LOVED* to toss around during the Bush years (and still today under Drumpf?) Oh it or leave it.

Can you please explain why wearing a mask is such a big deal? You wear shirt and shoes into stores don't you?


Masks help stop the spread of COVID 19. Get the facts from medical professionals, not politicians.

not a resident of the county - nice try on the troll

Kinney R. Baughman

@SickofStupid. I assure you Sam is functioning with full mental capacity though we might wonder about you.

If you looked at the trends in this state - Orange County passed a mask law last week. Raleigh did yesterday.

If you bothered to look at the research, you'd find that if 80% of people wore masks in public, the numbers go down on this virus. If we had 100% compliance, life could return to normal in record time.

The virus persists and our return to normal life is delayed because people refuse to accept the reality of how dangerous this virus is. Despite your ranting to the contrary, wearing a mask is pro-business. I have elderly friends with compromised systems who are terrified of going into businesses because people aren't wearing masks. As a consequence, they prefer to order through Amazon. If you want people to frequent LOCAL businesses, which is what we all want, then put on a mask.

Our parents and grandparents sacrificed much more during WWII. We should be able to do at least this much. It's just a stupid mask and you only have to wear it when you go into a store. Settle down.


^ He's right you know! Spot ON.

If you choose to boycott a business because you feel being told to wear a mask is too much on an imposition, then technically *you* are the threat to the local economy.

Raleigh passed an authorization to allow the mayor to enact. Hasn't been done so

If you think for a second the masks I see running around boone made of old hippy shirts and hanging half off their faces are effective, more power to you.....stop drinking the kool-aid and get back to beer

and the 15 other mayors in wake county said- NO!


I'm with you on the beer. All I would add is to *put on a mask* when you go out to support our *local* breweries!

As Kinney R. Baughman has already stated repeatedly, and with a much calmer demeanor than myself, this will actually make it *easier* for local business to begin again. It's folks who (and I honestly can't wrap my head around *why* it's such a big deal to some of y'all) are unwilling to wear a mask, because they feel "oppressed" who are slowing things down.

Wow when will the Boone city council wake up. When there are no businesses left in Boone. Most indoor restaurants are empty. Our experience. So please stop the nonsense of masking

Kinney R. Baughman Maybe you or someone else can explain to me how pro-business became equated with no-mask because I didn't get the memo.

Fundamental to being pro-business is protecting the health and well-being of customers as well as the workers and owners themselves. A dead consumer is no consumer at all. And a dead employee is a tragedy no one wants to endure.

As I mentioned above, I have elderly friends with compromised systems who are terrified of going into businesses where people aren't wearing masks. Instead they order through Amazon. If you want people to frequent LOCAL businesses, which is what we all want, then put on a mask.

Peace, health and prosperity to all.

Wear a mask.

craig dudley

i posted a comment that doesn't appear. evidently you can't oppose the borg. i will probably boycott any boone business until this mask masquerade is over.


Oh an by the way. Good. We don't want your business, anyway. By all means, *PLEASE* boycott, keep your germs at home.


Please list the name of your business. I will make sure you don't get my business.


Fireflies Farm. And thanks! If wearing a mask and having some common decency for the health of those around you is too much of an imposition, then I don't want your business!


If you don't mind though. Might you explain *why* wearing a mask is such a big deal to you?

I posted several that reiterated the points I was trying to make and they don’t show up either. Hmmm. I thought we were having an informed discussion about our community. Apparently we can’t have that.

Kinney R. Baughman

@brownemtrout. Plus you can't comment on several of the posts either.

Do you think we're blowing up the Watauga Democrat's webpage? :-)

Despite our crossing swords, I do appreciate the discussion and that it has been civil.

Thank you for that.

At bottom, I think we all want the same thing. It's just a question of how we get there.


craig dudley

unless you're wearing an m*95 mask or better it makes no difference. if you have a beard it makes no difference. since this can evidently be transmitted via the eyes, it makes no difference. its all hat and no cattle. its theater. if forced i will wear my v for vendetta mask to join in the theater in an obvious manner. its the virtue signalers doing their best to make everyone as fearful as they are. its stupid. the vast majority of covid deaths are in those over fifty and especially those over eighty with underlying health conditions. its said that humans go mad in herds and now we get to watch it daily as if we were in the restaurant at the end of the universe watching it collapse, and maybe we are.


It's not about you. The masks are not for your protection, stop trying to spin the story to fit into your narrow little worldview. The mask is to reduce YOUR transmission to others, which has been repeatedly shown now to effectively reduce (though not eliminate) transmission. Stop being a selfish child. If wearing a mask is really such an imposition on your delicate sense of personal freedom, then just do the rest of us a favor and stay home.

craig dudley

its fun watching everyone run around setting their hair on fire because someone told them a story that they chose to accept. if its too dangerous out there for you i suggest you stay home where its safe and let the rest of us live our lives.


I'm sorry that you're so self indulgent you feel the need to mock those who are attempting to be conscientious of the health of those around them. Honestly I pity you that you feel your sense of pride is so much more important than others health that you're unwilling to do something as simple as wear a piece of fabric on your face when interacting in public during a global pandemic.

But hey, whatever, you've already said you own a Guy Fawkes mask and seem to enjoy throwing around the "sheeple" argument in a sad attempt to make yourself somehow seem above it all; so you've clearly got the edginess and mindset of a 12-year old.

Stay spicy.


Wrong. Get the facts.

Kinney R. Baughman

@craig dudley

Except it does make a difference. Read the research and the studies. Far from theater, it's about life and death and ... wait for it ... making money. It's a statement that Boone is pro-business AND pro-life.

And no, it's not about fear, it's about safety. It's not being stupid, it's being smart. It's not about going mad, it's about showing we're sane.

Maybe you have no friends in my age group but I'm 67 and many of my friends are older than I am who happen to be sporting some of those underlying health conditions that you dismiss as if it were a runny nose.

If we would all follow the Town Council's advice, each of us can look forward to sharing a cup of coffee or a dinner with these friends next year instead of maybe dropping off a bouquet of flowers on their grave.

You and your friends are letting your emotions and the divisiveness of Washington rule your thinking on this. Do the research, then do the math, and you'll understand the Town Council did the right thing last night for all of us. Including you.

craig dudley

i'm in my seventies, and i've seen this madness of crowds before. it seems most of the deaths are those over fifty with underlying health conditions, and that number rises as the age does. we're now heading into a depression that will make 1929 seem tame. belarus and sweden didn't do all of this theater we're witnessing here and their contagion rates seem little different that what's going on here. the depression that's coming our way will do a lot more to assist the four horsemen than the beer flu. some put the current unemployment number at forty million. that will lead to massive homelessness and unemployment and more as things progress. every so often americans run about setting their hair on fire because someone on the tv told them to do so, which has led to things like putting japanese in concentration camps, making it acceptable to have at least two different legal systems in practice, invade small countries, and the list is almost endless. americans don't think but react which is what we're now seeing. it won't end well as those in charge continue the theater we're now seeing.


Why don't you just answer the question? Is it that hard? *What is so difficult about wearing a piece of fabric on your face when going into public*?

That's it.

If you can't even answer this one simple question without going on some long rant about gvt. overreach and people acting like sheeple, then the rest of us can only assume your sole argument against the masks is simply that you get off on being a contrarian.

Kinney R. Baughman

@Craig Dudley,

I agree with most of what you're saying about the dangers of a depression. But your remarks seem to be aimed at the effects of quarantining and staying at home. And that's not what we're talking about.

The discussion about masks is about how best to open the economy back up so a depression *doesn't* happen.

If it's one thing I've learned from the discussion the past couple of days is that you and others keep wanting to conflate quarantining and stay at home with going out and wearing masks. Those are two completely separate issues. And until you and others can separate the two in your minds, we'll get nowhere.

I'm really trying hard here. I haven't been calling anybody any names. I've tried to be respectful of everyone's opinions while trying to move the discussion forward and out of tribal debate.

I just don't see why reasonable people can't agree on this.

We are better than this, y'all. It's time we find our better selves.

If we don't, then we're in for a long bumpy ride because the pandemic is far from over. It is, in fact, just beginning. And even if I'm wrong about the pandemic just beginning - and I hope I am - we should still be acting like it is if we care anything at all about our neighbors, our town and our country.



Now station police at Lowe's Hardware, Walmart, and all grocery stores and put some real teeth in this!!


Yes please, there are far too many "hur durr dur, muh personal liberties" adult children running around right now. It's beyond pathetic, really. In the face of actual, real authoritarianism that we're facing in the US today, they are instead going to freak about about a f'n mask...


What crime will we be arrested and charged with? Why don't we station police at every business entrance in the city limits? This would surely make Boone safer and probably eliminate any criminal activity.

Kinney R. Baughman

@emerg. Do I detect a bit of sarcasm in your response?

No one is interested in charging anyone with any kind of crime. It's not about criminality. There was much discussion last night about how best to deal with "enforcement".

What this does is give us as citizens a legal leg to stand on when we ask visitors and tourists, who are surely bringing the virus up here with them, to please put on a mask out of common decency for those of us who live in the High Country.

As I understand it, there will be no "enforcement" for 3 weeks. First encounters with people who are being non-compliant will be focused on educating people about the ordinance and directing them towards places where they can buy masks.

A friend just told me one of the TV stations in Charlotte reported on the decision this morning in the context of Mecklenburg County considering a mask ordinance. They used Boone as an example of how it can be done.

I'm proud that Boone can be considered a pro-life, pro-business leader in the state and that the "Big Cities" will be seen as following our lead instead of the other way around.

Thank you, Boone Council. You made us proud last night.


Props for having way more of a calm demeanor in dealing with these jokers. Not that I expect many of them to be open to rational thought or discourse, but props nonetheless for trying!!

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