COOK - The dining room of the Montana Café in Cook felt light and airy on Tuesday, due in part to recent remodeling, but also because seating has been reduced to just six tables to accommodate …
COOK - The dining room of the Montana Café in Cook felt light and airy on Tuesday, due in part to recent remodeling, but also because seating has been reduced to just six tables to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
Most of the tables were filled at lunchtime, and all the customers had masks, some being worn while waiting on meals, others off to drink and eat.
A middle-aged man without a mask walked in, passed by a small table with hand sanitizer, and sat down at the lone empty table. He looked around briefly, then got up and left. He returned almost immediately, now wearing a mask.
Across the street at the laundromat, a woman sorted clothes while a man sat waiting – both wore masks.
Up and down River St., people getting out of cars reached for their masks, while others coming out of stores appeared relieved to shed theirs. Wherever one looked, the citizens of Cook were complying with Gov. Walz’s mask order.
Few, however, wanted to talk about it, be they store owners or customers. When asked for an interview, they politely declined. A generally expressed sentiment ran along the lines of, “It is what it is.” Some expressed reservations about getting involved in the politics of it all.
However, at the Comet Theater Mercantile and Exchange, owner Carol Carlson said it’s now just part of doing business.
“It’s what we pay for staying open,” she said. “It’s not an issue for me. I know it is for some people.”
Carlson said she believes that some of the controversy over the mask mandate stems from a sense of entitlement, and that some have lost sight of a sense of civic duty. She suggested that some sort of community service requirement for young adults could help to change that.
“I think public service is a good thing,” she said.