Store employees need to wear masks

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Before the COVID-19 epidemic, we'd almost never shopped at Carnival Grocery. It seemed like a fine store, but places like Pete's Fresh and Jewel are simply closer to us. However, because the folks at Carnival will collect an order for you, and provide curbside carryout and delivery if necessary, we decided to order some groceries from them. When we picked up our groceries at the store, we were pleased that the cashier was wearing a mask, just as we were. Masks, though they may not offer full protection to the wearer, are a way of preserving the health of others.

After stopping at Carnival, we went shopping at another store for a relatively expensive (over $600) item. None of the salespeople in the store were wearing masks. Failure to wear a mask, in a job with lots of customer contact, is not only antisocial but unhygienic. Though the store had what I wanted, I left without buying anything.

A few days later, I called the store and asked, "Are your employees wearing masks yet?" The man who answered replied "No," and his voice betrayed irritation. For my health's sake (and I am in a compromised group), I've decided not to do business with that store until at least the end of this epidemic, though perhaps never again.

Some might argue that masks are hard to come by, but even a bandana across the nose and mouth is better than nothing.

When a store's employees are not wearing masks, the message sent is that the store simply doesn't care much about their customers except as a source of revenue. If that's their attitude, OK, but they're not getting my business until they wise up and put on the damn masks.

David Hammond

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

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William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 9:28 PM

Wise words, Tommy. And lots of them.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 6:30 PM

Research and data relies a lot on averages. This challenge appears to require 100 percent. Hand to hand contact from door handles, parking meters, etc., requires a change. Facial covering is helpful although will not seal out exposure. Testing is limited to vulnerable or symptomatic because tests are limited. The main attack seems to be ramping up production of tests although at the same time the basics of washing hands, wearing masks are very good. Shoes may be picking up the virus and making it airborne again although not verified. There are floor mats for disinfecting which need more verification for effectiveness. Testing from what I can find can detect asymptomatic people.To determine who gets removed from society and those allowed in society would take mass testing and mass facilities which we would need to separate until a vaccine is discovered to stop the spread. There are more things that can be done to help reduce the spread The realization is this virus is most likely not going anywhere soon although and introducing more reduction practices are not being talked about which could move very quickly. Checking temperatures if I recall is finally in Phase One. That is something so easy to test each employee on a daily basis if there are enough thermometers which we rely on China to make along with so many other products. Eventually when the components arrive from out of country, more sanitizing products will be available. Lesson learned is you do not rely on other countries for products that are most vital for your own country

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 2:00 PM

The percentages come from data and research studies on the virus. The llatest from the US Center for Disease Control holds that at least 25 percent of people infected with Coronavirus show NO symptoms but are contagious. Other expert source put it as high as 50 percent. Whatever the actual percentage is found to be as more people get sick and many die, it's a major risk factor.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 12:31 PM

William Dwyer Jr. The one thing that is apparent is that not many people in the expert field really know much still about the virus although they will get it. If there are on assumption 50 percent of the population are asymptomatic then I would think there is a test being developed that will show people who can be carries without symptoms. Until then, if we knock down 50 percent of the people who do show signs then it is worth implementing all areas of defense to protect others. I know masks are not fully protective although they helped just like a younger girl who sneezed wearing a mask at a grocery store. Sure, it was not comfortable to have that happen although I think I was far enough away. There is also no information if the virus can land on the floor and become airborne again. To help control that potential there are sanitizing mats and if proved effective are another defense. When it comes down to it, no one really understands this virus or there would be more known facts listed. Until then, all steps though of can be very helpful and the slowness needs to be stepped up and not just relied on the CDC. I will not buy carry out food without knowing a temperature test has been performed each day on every employee. I suppose we have to weight for the shipment of thermometers to arrive from China just like so many other products that we rely on China for. This is a great time to start bringing back jobs to produce what we need now in our own Country since it did not happen 3 years ago

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 8:50 AM

Masks help, as will screening people's temperatures - if enough infrared, non-contact thermometers are made available - but that doesn't account for the asymptomatic individuals that experts say could be as high as 50 percent of the population. Until the current administration makes the availability of reliable, accurate and efficient Covid 19 tests a top priority, we'll be, as several experts have termed it, "flying blind."

David Hammond  

Posted: April 18th, 2020 7:40 AM

Tommy, temperature checks for customers entering stores would, indeed, be an unobtrusive way to keep store environments -- and employees -- safer.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 16th, 2020 9:06 PM

David Hammond you make a good point of the importance of wearing masks. They are not going to fully protect you or anyone else although they should prevent a percentage of spreading the virus and so would testing all employees using a touchless thermometer which stores have not announced they are doing although it is now mentioned in one of the Phases that have come out of the White House. So until employees handling food have their temperatures tested, I would think there are people not willing to pick up food

Nick Polido  

Posted: April 16th, 2020 4:11 PM

You tell 'em?....this is how you support these front line workers , I'm sure they will not miss your business.....

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