Sullivan County Legislator Upset That No One In Fallsburg Wearing Masks


June 30, 2020

Dear Residents and Summer Visitors,

As the summer of 2020 unfurls in Sullivan County, it’s critically important that we keep it from unraveling at the same time.

Over the past week, I’ve noticed – as have my neighbors and friends – a disturbing pattern of both visitors and residents no longer wearing masks or even social distancing when out in our communities. I live in Fallsburg, a welcome hotspot for summer tourism, but now I fear it and other areas of our County will become hotspots of COVID-19.

Coronavirus may have lessened in our area (thankfully), but it’s not gone – indeed, people can be carrying the potentially lethal virus without even knowing it, and thus spreading it without even knowing it, especially if they’re coming from an area where there has been a high infection rate. That’s why the Governor of New York, along with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, have just mandated a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming into these states from certain hotspot states like Florida and Alabama.

Just because we’ve been successful in keeping our COVID counts low doesn’t mean we have nothing to worry about. We need to keep our masks on whenever we’re outside our homes and cannot social distance – like in a grocery store, along a crowded sidewalk, or at our house of worship.

Not wearing a mask during these times sends the message, intentional or not, that we simply don’t care about the health and welfare of our neighbors. Not only is that disrespectful and discourteous, it can create needless friction with those neighbors, be they here year-round or just for the season. We don’t need more challenges during this already challenging time.

I remain hopeful that we can have a summer of fun and good memories, so long as we treat each other with kindness and respect. This year, that includes wearing a mask and social distancing. Please join me in doing so!

Joe Perrello
District 7 Legislator

Sullivan County Legislature


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. I’m sure this letter was approved by askanim. If it was, then What in the world are they thinking???? If it wasn’t approved by askanim then this politician needs to do some homework. First of all as I commented before Pesach there are many in our community, especially buchrim, that don’t have internet, smartphones, radios, or read newspapers, this letter is not reaching its target audience. Second, most of my neighbors finished with masks and social distancing Issru chag pesach. I saw on lag be’omer people dancing holding hands in the streets. Are these people going to listen to some letter a politician wrote? I just keep davening that everyone should stay safe bruchniyos and begashmiyos.

  2. I don’t think this letter writer needs approval from askanim. He makes a very good point and does so very respectfully. Just because it may be true that many people will not listen to a politician’s letter does not mean he should not still write it. It is OUR problem that OUR people are not listening to the recommendations of medical authorities and the restrictions/rules mandated by governmental authorities. And that creates a problem to the rest of the world around us too (and sometimes Chillul Hashem). If certain sectors of our communities do not have access to media to learn what is going on in the world, then it becomes our responsibility as fellow Jews to find a way to inform those groups. That would not only protect us (and the outside world) it would protect them as well. It could also go a long way to improving the unity of klal yisrael and the reputation of klal yisrael insofar as what the outside thinks of us.

  3. Why would a politician have his letter screened and approved by askanim?
    Also, just because you and the people in your neighborhood don’t seem to feel it necessary to continue taking precautions, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is on the same page. For one thing, the mountains are full of people from all over, not just BP, Willy or Monsey. In many other areas, they’re still social-distancing and wearing masks. In addition, the local residents are very wary of the city-dwellers and have mixed feelings about having them come up this summer. So, they are not pleased to see how lax the summer people are with following the rules. City people who find this attitude offensive, can always opt to stay home or go elsewhere.

  4. Only sheep wear masks. Wearing a mask reduces your oxygen intake. Wearing a mask doesn’t protect you from a virus that doesn’t exist anymore. No one is getting sick from this anymore.

  5. Very well written and most respectful of our people who have shown that we haven’t earned or maintained earned respect. Shtussim that our boys and girls don’t have internet and can’t find out the rules and guidelines. We all know they don’t care. Why ונשמרתם מאד לנשותחכם has become a voluntary מצוה vs. say, not eating on יום כפור or not eating חזיר has me windering. We have תרי”ג מצוות and each and every single one was given to us at סיני.
    Why our boys learn בבא קמא and all about being מזיק someone else’s property but could care less about someone else’s health, is beyond me! Why we’re all into חסד organizational works for the physical needs of others but could care not a bit about other people’s health and safety is beyond me. We’re מקפיד about kosher phones and filters on our computers but not a care about potentially harming someone else’s life, is baffling. Why wedding halls make affairs without a care as to the law makes me question their kashrus! And their newest argument that the police are not enforcing it is the poorest excuse I’ve ever heard as a justification for wrongdoing.
    This legislator is most respectful on his attempt to knock some sence into people’s heads.

  6. Approval by askanim? LOL. Sadly the frum community has become lax in these safeguards. We know frum are not immune from this magaifah. Boggles the mind.

  7. As the above comments purport, most of the ‘perpetrators’ don’t have an inkling as to what gets posted online etc. All the Askanim from all sectors need to approach the Rabbonim and explain the tremendous Chillul Hashem that’s taking place, in order for them to speak out, each to his own Kehillah There shouldn’t be a need for a legislator to write a (superbly diplomatic) letter asking for simple (juvenile) Mentchlechkeit.
    We’re constantly hearing theory’s from our Maggidim etc. of why this or that calamity befell…R”L.
    How about Chillul Hashem which Yom Kippur Eino Mechaper??? Is it possible?????

  8. To jerkoq12: The mods probably would not let me abbreviate your screen name by dropping the last 4 letters, and the mitzvah of chesed probably forbids me. But your last sentence – “No one is getting sick from this anymore.” – is shockingly wrong. Even Fox News has reported that COVID cases are growing in the US. Where did you read or hear something that prompted you to write that no one is getting sick from COVID any more?

  9. Huju, nobody is getting sick. The new cases are among young people and are NOT SICK. Ask Hatzolah how many people they’ve taken to hospital with this lately. The answer is ZERO.