I read with great interest the Aspen Daily News’ article, “Pitkin County health officials have new hypotheses about cause of COVID-19 spike” (April 3). Increased mobility, tourism, people getting fatigued are all plausible explanations. However the real cause was never mentioned, noncompliance with mitigation rules. While many people and businesses comply with the rules, many don’t. Have you been in some of the restaurants lately? 25% or 50% capacity is a fantasy for some. Not to take away from those establishments that are in full compliance, kudos to them. When no one is enforcing the rules you naturally have people that try to break them.

Have you walked through Gondola Plaza lately? Mask, what mask? People will actually be standing right next to a sign that says mandatory mask zone, and just ignore the request to comply. I know SkiCo employees try, but it can be overwhelming. Enforcement needs to come from our government. If we as a community want no more lockdowns and wish for a semi-normal summer, enforcement of the rules must be a necessary component of any mitigation effort. After the mountain closes, COVID rates will naturally fall. Not because our efforts have been a success but because people leave.

We all want to return to normal. If we are going to get through the summer without closures, rules need to be enforced. We can’t wish our way to safety and normalcy. Enforcement while controversial is a necessity to mitigate COVID-19.

Yale Galanter