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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Opinions > Inside Out

No mask? No, I don't need to shop there

Jun 29, 2020

By Jeanne Sager - columnist

I needed something for my front yard, so I did what I've done for most of my life. I drove to a local store.
Here's what the pandemic changed. I didn't stay.
Driving into the full to brimming parking lot, I spotted the patrons, all closer than social distancing protocols, few wearing masks.
Risking my life didn't feel worth it.
I backed out and turned around.
Masks are uncomfortable. They're annoying to wear.
And yet they've been mandated by our state government. They're recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. If you look at statistics across the nation, they seem to work. States that have mandated masks have seen COVID-19 cases dip, while those that are not mandating people cover their nose and mouth are seeing their ICUs fill with patients.
Some local businesses have made noise about how they're mask-free, refusing to ask customers to slip one on before entering the premises. Apparently this is where they've decided to draw a line.
Patrons too are making their choices. They're deciding whether or not they want to show concerns for other people, for the shop owners whose stores they frequent, for other customers.
Others are quietly, albeit willingly, adhering to the laws.
These stores are willing to keep their customers safe.
Those patrons are willing to protect their fellow patron.
They're willing to do what it takes to make the community safer.
I did get the item I needed that day by the way, ending up at Cochecton Mills, a business that's been adhering to the laws. I've since returned to purchase other needed materials.
They put their customers first, and now they're first on my list.
When you choose where to spend your money, just remember who bothered to put your safety first.
And patrons? Do your part. Remember what you're doing can end up driving business away from businesses that need support now more than ever.

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