If you can believe it, we are already creeping up on March of 2021. It has felt like the longest year ever--but here we are, nearly an official YEAR into a global pandemic. Everything has changed, so many are struggling, and the end really isn't in sight just yet. If you would have told us a year ago that FACE MASKS would be both sold on every street corner and the most controversial things ever, we may not have believed you.

Well, here we are.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that there has been a lot of debate around masks here in the Treasure Valley. After November's election cycle, two Republicans took over two seats among the Ada County Commissioners. Many assumed that this would mean a vast shift on the Central District Health's Board of Health. It did. A controversial appointment of Raul Labrador to start the new year made a lot of noise and it didn't take long for the new Board of Health to drop the mask mandate in Ada and Valley Counties. Now, some businesses are asking for a little help--from us.

There's a difference between the City of Boise mandate and the Central District Health mandate. Even though masks are not required county-wide in Ada County any longer, they ARE still required in the City of Boise per Mayor Lauren McLean's health order. Many businesses are feeling the confusion come through their doors. I'm seeing this in my personal time around town and even on social media.

One of my favorite restaurants, Das Alpenaus (an awesome little German spot up on Vista) recently shared to Facebook that they have had to do with some anti-mask sentiment in their business--these individuals are citing the lifted mandate in Ada County which again, does not change the City of Boise specific mandate. The owners shared in their Facebook post, which you can see below, that they're just trying to follow the rules and stay open for business--NO politics are involved in that.

In other places around the Treasure Valley, specifically in Meridian, I have witnessed myself some mask struggles. Businesses that continue to request mask usage are getting folks yelling at them because again, the Ada County mandate was lifted. The City of Meridian does not have a city-wide health order in place.

I think we need to go back to the basics here. Regardless of what your views on the masks are--businesses are entitled to refuse service if you violate their rules. Some come from on high at a corporate level. Others are coming from locally owned, small businesses just trying to stay open. Now, more than ever, we just need to be kind and cooperative.


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