Mixed reviews by New Mexicans on new mask mandate

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s now against the law to not be wearing a mask in public under the governor’s new health order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this week acknowledged that not everyone is a fan of wearing a face mask. “We all have a social contracting responsibility to do that and I know it is not popular in a way that I wish that it was,” said the governor. 

KRQE spoke with people on Saturday about the new requirement. Based on reaction, the new public health order has mixed reviews. “Where’s our freedom? We’ve had diseases before, we’ve never had to do this. You know, and now it’s like we have to do it. Are we in Russia, Cuba, or what,” said Gloria Prieto.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal, obviously some people have problem with it but for right now it’s the best we can do,” said Alex Nunnally. He owns New Mexico Bead and Fetish in Old Town. Nunnally said he’s following the governor’s orders and not letting any customers in without masks.

But KRQE saw some visitors in Old Town Saturday who weren’t wearing any type of face-covering. It was a similar story at the busy Smith’s grocery store on Yale near UNM, and at Roosevelt Park where some people on Saturday were also not social distancing.

Of course, there are exceptions to wearing a mask in public. You’re in the clear if you’re eating, drinking, or exercising. 

Many people we talked to who do support the mask mandate said the temporary inconvenience of wearing one is worth helping keep New Mexicans healthy. “For right now, it’s mandatory, if you want to be in public you gotta wear it, if you don’t want to wear it stay home,” said Nunnally.

State police told KRQE they won’t be enforcing the new rule and APD said they’ll try and provide masks to people if officers have extras. The governor hopes positive peer pressure will work instead.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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