Mayor Jim Donchess and some Nashua aldermen have expressed a desire to mandate the wearing of masks in Nashua businesses, on penalty of a fine, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Nashua Board of Public Health has recommended this mandate and the aldermen may be voting on it soon. I fear they are ignoring that Nashua is a destination for tax free shopping and our businesses are already struggling with the restrictions on “non-essential” businesses from Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order 17. And there are New Hampshire towns near Nashua that will offer mask-free shopping. How will Nashua businesses afford to pay property taxes if shoppers decide it isn’t worth the hassle and go elsewhere?
And what about enforcement? It is hard to believe that the Nashua Police would want to enforce the wearing of masks, especially since they are understaffed and the department’s cost of overtime is skyrocketing. Would a police officer have to be dispatched at every sighting of a shopper not wearing a mask? Or would the struggling small business owners have to shoo customers out of the building, no matter how desperately they need the business, perhaps never to have those customers return?
Of course, one of the biggest supporters of the mandate is Alderman Jan Schmidt, who is gung-ho for legislation restricting our liberties. She was caught parking illegally in a handicapped spot. How long before someone witnesses her shopping without a mask?
The Nashua Division of Public Health Department recently posted on their Facebook page that we should not go out for ice cream unless we combine it with an essential trip such as to the grocery, bank, or pharmacy. There were so many comments on the post mocking them, expressing disbelief, and questioning their competency to do their jobs, that they were forced to remove the post.
If Nashua does pass the mask mandate, would the city next try to police what trips we make from our house? Nashua politics reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm more every day.
Learn more about the harms being done to the residents and businesses of New Hampshire in the name of protecting them at ReopenNH.com.