NEVADA CITY, Calif. June 26, 2020 – I am old enough to remember when the realization that grocery clerks, delivery drivers, the kids that bag our groceries, the cashiers, cooks and wait staff were essential workers hit home. Thanking them for doing their jobs was part of the new shopping experience. What changed in three months?
The mask mandate seems to have created a deep division in this community and the retail and food workers bear the brunt of it. They wear masks while working and have to remind customers to do the same. At the same time, they have to listen to newly-minted experts telling them why wearing masks interferes with breathing, freedom and the rugged individualism of said experts. Or, they are being educated by another set of experts on better ways to protect themselves and get an earful of suggestions to use [insert cure du jour.] That is not part of their job description. No, really.
Don’t want to/can’t wear a mask? Avail yourself of the services our local businesses have put in place, like curbside pickup or delivery.
If you want to make a statement about the mask mandate, call, write or email the Governor, here’s the link.
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No video, impassioned social media post or phone call to a local business will change the mandate. All these actions accomplish is putting more stress and, in some cases, fear on local residents. For the kids handing you a mask at the grocery store while bagging someone’s purchases, it’s likely a summer job for them or their first job. If yelling at them really makes you feel better, maybe onsite grocery shopping is not for you. Likewise, calling for boycotts or publishing lists of businesses that don’t do enough – in your opinion – is not the way out of this pandemic and its economic impacts.
Your barista, checkout clerk, wait staff or even the business owner can’t change a state mandate. Neither can a mayor, council member, or county supervisor – but you can voice your opinion to them – civilly – during public comment at their meetings.
Meanwhile, can we agree that our essential workers and local businesses deserve to be treated with common decency?
-Pascale Fusshoeller, editor