Everyone is getting tired of the COVID-19 situation. I get it.
For weeks now, we have been social distancing, wearing masks, and wondering if it is safe to go to work or to the grocery store. We are being careful about what we touch and our hands are sore from all of the hand washing and disinfectant. We are working hard to help our customers and keep our stores open. We are tired and frustrated.
I want to tell you that we coming to the end of the crisis – but I can’t. At best, the daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States is starting to stabilize. On Tuesday, April 28th, the CDC reported 23,901 new cases and 2,247 deaths in the US. That is for one day. Over a million cases have been reported in the US and over 57,000 people have died in the last three months. The COVID-19 virus is still infectious. It is still spreading. It is still killing people.
I ask you to remain vigilant in taking care of your health and your family’s health. Wear your Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) – masks, gloves, and aprons – when you are working. Wash your hands, keep social distancing, and be careful about what you touch. Your actions are your best protection.
We continue to have customers come into our stores who are not wearing masks and refuse to wear one. There may be many reasons why they don’t wear a mask – they forgot theirs, it makes it hard to breathe, they don’t like the way they look in a mask, they don’t believe COVID-19 will affect them or they feel it violates their personal freedoms. We are asking every customer and vendor to wear a mask, either theirs or a temporary one, while they are in our store. The customers who object to doing so think that they are being brave and they aren’t afraid to get sick. They say it is their right.
What they don’t realize is that they are being selfish and endangering you, everyone else in the store, and all of your families. A mask offers some protection for the person who wears it but that is not the reason we are asking them to wear one. It is to protect you. A customer may be asymptomatic, with means they are infectious but are not showing symptoms of the virus. Therefore, they do not know that they are contagious with the virus and they can make anyone they come into contact with sick. A mask restricts the amount of the virus that comes out of your mouth and nose when you breathe, sneeze, or cough. It reduces the virus spread pattern from several feet to a fraction of that distance. It helps keep surfaces and objects from being contaminated.
If you are in a store and someone does not want to wear a mask, try to educate them. You can say, “Would you please wear a mask to protect our team and our families while you are in the store? It’s only for a few minutes while you are in the store. We would really appreciate it. Thank you.” If they continue to refuse to wear a mask offer to bring their items to them outside and thank them for their business.
It is difficult and people are difficult. We want you, and your family, to be safe and well. Please help us.