Maine is now seeing up to 800 new COVID cases a day, and that could soon be more than 1,000. Forty-five weeks after “two weeks to flatten the curve” we are going in the wrong direction. Some of the increases, undoubtedly are due to holiday travel. Some may be due to new, more contagious variants of the virus. But it is clear to me that many are the result of daily behavior.

Walking the Harbor Trail along the Eastern Prom, I am astounded by the number of walkers and joggers not wearing masks. I don’t feel right admonishing them individually, as we are constantly reminded that shaming is wrong, and no one wants to be seen as a “Karen.” So, I will admonish them publicly.

I am aware that some may have medical conditions that make mask wearing difficult. For them, there are alternatives. If they don’t want to use them, then they should stay away from public places. For joggers, coming at me breathing heavily, I am glad they are able to get in their exercise, but they force me to ponder whether or not it is worth it to get mine.

For those who don’t believe in science, please educate yourselves, and for those who just can’t be bothered, the only logical conclusion I can reach is that they are severely lacking in moral character and respect for their fellow Portlanders. I urge them to do some self-reflection. The small inconvenience of wearing a mask will get us out of this sooner.

Jim Becker

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