By Mark Kemper
I fear that, once again, Mr. Bellis (el Rey de Taos?) appears to be out of touch with the people of Taos, visitors to Taos, and, perhaps, some basic realities. Those realities being, among others: People are spending time in, on and around the Plaza and the parks. People need to, and will, urinate and defecate. I have heard and seen some of the extremes to which people (full disclosure, I include myself) will go to when they have to, well, go. One woman was seen to have very publicly "dropped her drawers" (I shan't share the location).
The town need only thoroughly clean the restrooms once a day, as has been done since their construction (roughly two hours of payroll). As long as individuals utilizing the facilities avoid touching their face and wash their hands (as per CDC guidelines) before they exit the restroom the danger of contracting the virus from a surface is minimal, according to the CDC.
The inability of people to find a restroom when Nature calls, (sometimes demands) adds insult to injury. People will continue to shop and visit the town and we all hope they shall continue to do so when the threat of the virus has subsided. Insulting visitors and locals alike is not good for business nor is it a hygienically sound practice.
On another note, it seems a shame and raises questions, that some business owners are afraid to speak up and let their names be known out of fear of retaliation from the town. As I recall, the municipal government, including the town manager, work for the people of Taos, who should have no fear of reprisal for speaking their minds. Curious indeed.
Mark K. Kemper is a 30-plus-year Taos resident and an artist.