The concept behind "Mask Free Shopping: Takin' It to the Streets," a video by documentary filmmaker Larry Cappetto, is simple: A group of eleven people enter stores in Grand Junction and begin shopping just as they would have prior to the COVID-19 pandemic — without masks.
But you don't need to watch the video to guess what's going to happen; if you get out and about in Colorado, you've seen these scenes play out in numerous locations, as employees must determine what to do regarding customers willfully breaking the rules.
Almost a year into the pandemic in this state, residents remain very divided on the issue of masks, as evidenced by the comments posted on the Westword Facebook page in response to our story about Cappetto's stunt. Says Ashley:
If someone doesn't understand why wearing a mask is important by now, it means they don't want to.
Larry Capetto is a selfish ass. He is everything our father and grandfather fought against. Wearing a mask is not an infringement of your freedoms. It is how you protect your fellow countrymen during a pandemic....Go to hell, Larry.
Does he feel the same way about people smoking while shopping? How about seat belts, car insurance? Freedom isn’t free when you are jeopardizing others.
Here's another opinion, Let the ranting begin. I social distance when in a store staying a minimum of 6 feet away from everyone. I don't talk to others. I am not sneezing or spewing spit. IF someone approaches me to make comments about my non mask-wearing presence, that action is on them. You invaded my space. Keep your distance and you'll be fine. It's my choice, not yours. If you're AFRAID that you'll be infected, order online, send an errand runner for your goods, wear a mask and keep your distance from the boogey-non-mask-wearer peeps.
No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service...plain and simple.
And Tom concludes:
Why do I care what some dumb Americans who don't understand science are doing? Anti-maskers are the stupidest people in the world. Why give them any air?
For the record, Cappetto doesn't like wearing masks. "Our society is full of masks, and anyone who doesn't wear one is cast as the lone wolf or the outcast," he says. "And going into those stores, we felt like we were being singled out all the time, like we were the ones looked at as abnormal. That bothered me so deeply. I just felt very out of place, very uncomfortable — felt humiliated because I knew people were looking at us."
Have you watched his video? What did you think of it? What do you think of the continued division over the issue of masks? Post a comment or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.