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LETTERS

Beach blanket roulette

Thousands of beachgoers packed M Street Beach in South Boston Saturday afternoon as the heat enveloped the area.
Thousands of beachgoers packed M Street Beach in South Boston Saturday afternoon as the heat enveloped the area.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Maskless revelers don’t seem to get what personal liberty really means

Until recently, I was proud to live in Massachusetts, which, through early action and reasonable reopening measures, had brought its coronavirus metrics down to levels resembling those of Europe.

And then I saw photos of maskless people packed onto M Street Beach in South Boston as if it were, well, last summer (“As the heat rises, mask use falls,” Metro, July 19). It looks like the relatively good times we have enjoyed recently are doomed.

The problem nationwide is a fundamental misperception of what personal liberty means in this country. It is the freedom to be whatever you want to be, not to do whatever you want to do. Saying “please” is not enough to direct people who fail to understand this distinction or choose to ignore it. Even in Europe, where in many countries there is less national narcissism, laws regulating pandemic behavior were not only passed but enforced through fines.

It is true that we have an incompetent president who sets a terrible example for the country, but he could not be so successful at it if he did not have tens of millions of eager accomplices. It is not only American politics that needs attention but also our national character.

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Geoff Kronik

Brookline


If people can’t gather safely, then close the beaches

In “As the heat rises, mask use falls,” the Globe quoted a beachgoer who, as he sat among a dozen friends, says, ”I see why with everything going on this isn’t the best thing to be doing. But it’s not as bad as Florida.” This kind of behavior is how the pandemic got out of control in Florida. People packed the beaches, with no social distancing or masks, and by the time some of the beaches were closed, the damage had been done.

Perhaps, as is done elsewhere, police patrolling the beaches could issue a citation or fine when they find a lack of social distancing. People would find out quickly that the state means business. Otherwise, close the beaches so that these people won’t spread the virus inland to people who religiously follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Marcel Kates

Pepperell


Adopting the motto of ‘What, me worry?‘

Alfred E. Neuman, the longtime fictitious mascot of Mad magazine, was famous for his motto, “What, me worry?” I was reminded of Alfred E. Neuman on Sunday when I saw the photo of people without masks cavorting on the M Street Beach. They are as mad as the magazine was, and they appear to be channeling Alfred and his motto. I suggest that the maskless revelers need to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci and not to Alfred E. Neuman.

David Coulter

Natick


Seems like Maine is on to something

I was appalled by Sunday’s story and photo regarding M Street Beach. I thought that Massachusetts people were better than that, for the good of us all. No wonder states such as Maine require us to complete a 14-day quarantine. Please, please, everyone wear a mask anywhere you are out and about.

June Cassidy

Westwood


Think of the exhausted health care workers

Every time somebody joins a packed crowd without a mask, that means that one more health care worker at a hospital is risking his or her life, having already been exhausted and overstressed by the numbers of COVID-19 patients.

Janet King

Wellesley