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Jared Polis took off his mask to make his latest pronouncement, but from a safe distance.EXPAND
Jared Polis took off his mask to make his latest pronouncement, but from a safe distance.
Nell Salzman

Reader: Be an Adult, and Put On a Mask for a Few Minutes

No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service? Governor Jared Polis has long endorsed face coverings for Coloradans headed out of the house. And on June 4, he issued an executive order that empowers businesses that want to require customers to wear masks. "Businesses should have a right to be protected from those who refuse to take the common-sense step to wear a mask," he said, by denying "service to those who might put their employees and customers at health risk."

At the press conference announcing the new order, Polis also unveiled a new public-service announcement about the importance of mask-wearing, which he called "our ticket to opening our economy sooner."

The issue of masks has been a hot topic since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and readers were quick to go to their corners on Polis's latest pronouncement. Says Josh: 

People mistaking a slight inconvenience for oppression.... They require shoes, right? They require shirts, right? Nobody bitches about their "choice" in those instances. Be an adult, put on a mask for a few minutes of your day, and stop crying already. It takes practically no effort.

Fucking whiny crybaby children...

Responds Carrie: 

No shirt, no shoes, no service is in regards to the health department requirements and their liability insurance. It’s not an arbitrary rule made by businesses. Their insurance won’t pay if a customer cuts themselves in the store without shoes. (I was a prolific no-shoe-wearer in my younger days.) Insistence of masks is a societal pressure thing, not health department, and science says you should wear one if actively sick or caring for someone sick or you are a surgeon, says the WHO. But keep telling yourself it’s like a force field.

Counters Pixy: 

I'm masked up until I get the vaccination. Ain't going out that way. A mask is a very easy thing to do.

Asks Lesley:

 To what point do you believe police should force someone to wear a mask? Gun point? Death? For our fellow man, of course.

Responds Jon: 

To the point they are asked to leave the premises, same as if they try to enter a business without a shirt or shoes. Any other questions?

Replies Hunter: 

A business should always be allowed to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. The would-be customer is always allowed to spend their money elsewhere.

And then there's this from Igor: 

Marijuana Deals Near You

We have lost a couple customers over the last few days. They call, ask about pricing and THEN laugh when told that they are required to wear a mask on premises. Their reply is, "Well, I was going to support your local shop but not if I have to wear a mask."

All of us business owners have been put through the wringer the last few months and our outlook looks bleak enough already. Out of sheer panic, we have spent more time online trying to figure out PPPL and other relief options than actually working on customer relations and being productive/creative.

Most, if not all, of the business owners I've talked to are down about 60 percent. If you're renting space from a landlord, this is surely an unfeasible amount of business just to pay rent, much less employees and other expenses. The last thing a business needs to hear is that someone was going to support a local shop but won't because a thin cloth must be worn during our interaction.

Many businesses have employees who are still frightened by COVID, who might have underlying health issues or family they are trying to protect. They might even refuse to come back to work unless we are taking all precautions to keep them as safe as possible. As a "boss," it is really difficult to manage employee and customer needs with a balanced objective and mentality while juggling supply chain and shipping issues at the same time.

Local small business are hurting so badly right now. Please let them conduct business with due diligence. We don't know if masks are excessive (and they might be), but we are choosing possibly safer now over sorry later. We wear masks when shopping at other businesses, in the spirit of community cooperation.

The last thing a small business needs right now is an ultimatum for a customer's patronage and/or a lawsuit later down the line for not following mask guidelines. A business should give customers the best possible product at the best price with the least amount of hassle. A mask should not be a deciding factor for whom one chooses to do business with.

From a local Colorado business, thanks to most everyone who is being understanding and flexible on this matter.

What do you think about Polis's mask order? Would you go to a business that required a mask? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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