Yellowstone National Park announced Friday that, for an indefinite period, visitors are required to wear masks indoors and inside public transportation vehicles.
“Currently, all five counties within Yellowstone have substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates,” the park stated via Facebook, explaining that the mask rule is in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Understandably, given the stark contrast of opinions regarding mask mandates, Yellowstone felt compelled to pin a caution atop the comments section:
“We treat our platforms as public forums and welcome discussion and debate. Be considerate of differing opinions and do not personally attack others. We will hide, delete, or report comments that break any platform rules. Threats and other illegal activity will be reported to law enforcement.”
Masks must be worn inside Yellowstone businesses
As of Saturday morning nearly 1,500 comments appeared beneath the announcement.
Followers asked why visitors would want to be inside anyway, in such a vast outdoor wilderness. They thanked the staff for doing its part to keep visitors safe, and asked reasonable questions related to the mandate.
Scores of people raised the subject of vaccines. At the time of this post the most popular comment read, simply, “What is wrong with people! Just get the damn vaccine!”
Some were critical of the park for allowing such large crowds, while a few leveled blame, without explanation, toward the government.
Some expressed concern that elk and bison, and other critters commonly approached by tourists, are in danger of contracting COVID-19.
“Stay away from the wildlife, and stay away from each other,” one comment reads.
Missing, for the most part, are politically inspired rants and vitriolic attacks, and that, most likely, is thanks to astute and overworked moderators.
–Images courtesy of Yellowstone National Park