Here we are more than four months into this pandemic and we are seeing another rise in Covid cases and deaths in areas where people are routinely ignoring social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. Go into any retail or grocery store here in Newton and you will see the employees wearing masks to protect their customers, but sadly the vast majority of customers don’t seem to be responsible enough to return the favor. I’m sure these people would never think to walk past and refuse to offer help to an injured person lying on the street so why would they refuse to wear a mask in stores, the one simple thing they can do to help protect the health of others? It stops being your “right” to not wear a mask in the store when it can and does negatively affect the health of others.
By this time face masks should be thought of as just another part of our wardrobe and the act of putting on a mask when going out should be as automatic as putting on shoes, a shirt, and a pair of pants. Wearing a mask tells everyone you are a person who cares about the health of others and you want us all to feel safe going out to shop again so our businesses can succeed. Not wearing a mask in the store gives the impression that you are stubborn and selfish.
People who are shopping in our stores without a mask need to be treated as if they were smoking in our stores and asked to put it on, put it out or leave. They should never be allowed to deliberately put the health of others at risk for their own selfish reasons.
The sooner we start to think about public mask-wearing as a public responsibility and safety issue instead of some strange, non-existent infringement of our rights, the sooner all of us can feel safer going out again and getting back to our business. Lets’ get this right, Newton. I know we can be better than this.