Unmasking double standards | AspenTimes.com

Unmasking double standards

Aspen Hockey needs a better lobbyist.

Aspen Skiing Co. (why is that a Skico decision, not a health decision?) gets to decide to load gondolas to full capacity, while my daughter is required to play her first and only home games of the season wearing a mask? Anyone at the board of health try to play a HIIT sport with an N95 mask on their face? How about with a short bench? The girl U-15 and U-19 teams are very short on players and play long, intense games. They can’t begin to give their all while following the requirement to wear a mask while they skate.

Meanwhile, take a look at school lunch, restaurants (at full capacity, mind you) or gondolas, and you will see much more close contact for long periods of time than you do at the ice rink.

Our health officials have put parents and coaches in an impossible situation — trying to explain to our children why a sweaty buff on a gondola (or let’s be honest, no mask once the doors close) or close contact at a restaurant is allowed, but you have to mask up while playing puck and have to have an observer in the locker room to make sure your mask stays on while you suit up. Get caught with your mask off in line for the gondola and maybe you get asked to pull it up; get caught at the rink with your mask down, and the team will lose their ice time.

As a parent, what do I say to them? The truth? It’s not just about health, it’s about money, and restaurants and ski tourism bring in a lot of money; hockey doesn’t (although we will have teams here from across the mountain communities going to restaurants and hotels this weekend) and bottom line — life isn’t fair. Yes, there have been traceable outbreaks of COVID-19 to hockey, and you can bet that restaurants and gondolas are a major source of spread, as well — just not getting contact traced in the same way, and Skico and our restaurant community have better lobbyists.

We have all learned from COVID that life isn’t fair, so how about letting the kids skate this weekend without masks?

Dan Goldman

Snowmass Village