I am a pro-masker. I have been making free masks for Mask-Erie and community members since the end of March because I believe that they help.
I realize that many folks don’t believe so and are resistant to wearing them. I do know, however, that we all agree that we want our town to remain open and prosperous. Another lock down would be devastating. I am heartbroken every time I see another business close their doors for good.
I love North East and if we all work together we can support our local businesses by spending our money here and, thus, contributing to their future success. I have many favorite haunts in North East and I do spend a lot of money here. I shop local for everything. All owners are trying very hard to maintain CDC guidelines by keeping their shops spotless, and by requiring their customers to wear masks. They are mandated to do so in order to keep themselves and their customers safe.
All businesses have signs on their doors stating that masks are required. What is troubling to me are the folks that walk in without masks or ask if it is okay if they enter without a mask. This puts our store owners in a very difficult position.
If they say ‘no’ they might lose that customer and that is detrimental to their business. If they say ‘yes’, pro-mask customers may leave and not return. Not to mention that by allowing an unmasked person to shop, they may be putting themselves or that customer at risk.
Also, should the store owner fall ill the store may be forced to close. If you went to someone’s home and they asked you to remove your shoes before entering, you would most likely do it without any resistance. They are asking us to wear a mask in their shop which is often their home away from home. Why not accommodate the request and not put the owner in this awkward situation?
No one would be offended and the owner would be complying with state directives. It really doesn’t matter if you believe in masking or not. It is about believing in taking care of our businesses and helping them thrive. If someone can’t wear a mask for some reason, the shops I frequent have special hours for them to shop alone.
There are so many folks complaining about people who won’t mask or won’t mask properly. If they are trying to make a statement, they are, and it is not a positive one for our businesses and business owners. Can’t we just do it to keep our businesses alive and well? I’m masking for a friend.
Janet Rose Wojtalik
North East Resident