Major retailers to states: Mandate face masks now

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Retailers have a message for state governors: Please make everyone wear a face mask.

In a letter to the National Governors Association this week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association asked governors to require face masks when people are in public or while shopping. Fewer than half of U.S. states require masks in public places, according to the RILA.

The group, which represents Target, Home Depot and other major chains, says the hodgepodge of rules around the country has created confusion for shoppers and that has led to conflict between customers and workers trying to enforce store rules.

The governor’s association said Tuesday that its members are discussing the letter and others like it from different retail groups.

Social media is full of videos capturing clashes between those who are asked to wear masks, and employees who are under orders to make sure people wear them.

“Retailers are alarmed with the instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers,” said RILA President Brian Dodge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people cover their mouth and nose when around other people to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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20 thoughts on “Major retailers to states: Mandate face masks now

  1. One-size fits all rules do not work across states and quite often not even within states. These type of rules should be decided as they are now, within the city/county/state.

    1. I agree, Russell. As an example, Costco has a nationwide mask requirement at all of their stores, likely due to the fact that they are headquartered in Washington state, but the public health situation varies widely around the country. Additionally, the single layer cotton mask that I wear when I have to go to Costco gains me admittance, but does nothing to prevent 2 micron virus particles from getting through.

    2. Nothing will prevent it. That is known and accepted. It’s about reducing the probability.

      A seat belt doesn’t make you 100% guaranteed to survive an accident, but it will increase your odds. Throw in a bunch of other technologies and you’ve got progress.

      If you combine masks plus social distancing plus more testing plus increased ventilation plus closing Places in which you can’t do the above, you lower the transmission rate. It’s worked in a whole lot of countries, so why on earth wouldn’t you learn from others and do it here?

      Besides, I watched a bunch of race teams at the Brickyard work outside in the heat all day in masks. You can wear a mask to go to Kroger for 30 minutes.

  2. Even bad masks are better than no masks. Instead of trying to skate by with no masks or bad masks, just buy the best mask you can afford, social distance, and stop spreading viruses and/or misinformation.

    1. Sorry, but as a scientist I believe in science, not “common sense” or political positions (both of which normally = misinformation). Only an N-95 mask has the ability to filter a particle as small as the coronavirus, and those have (quite rightly) been mandated for use only by medical professionals who are in close contact with individuals known to be infected. I invite you to read the guidance from the World Health Organization about face masks (it is available online). It points out that ineffective face masks are worse than no mask, because they provide a false sense of security to those wearing them, and cause them to do harmful things like touch their face while wearing the mask and putting it on and off.

    2. Mark L: That recommendation is for “If there is widespread community transmission, and especially in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.” That is not our situation.

    3. To Troy…size of the virus segment that gets transmitted is not as important as HOW they move. On droplets that are much larger. A high percentage of droplets will be trapped (along with the virus particles) In the mask of the exhaler. Those droplets that do pass through, a large portion eventually drop to the ground. An inhaler is protected to a small degree of the droplets that may eventually get to them. Science.

  3. If we had ANY federal leadership, we wouldn’t be in this ridiculous position. The confusing hodgepodge of rules and recommendations is a crap way to manage a global pandemic. Just wear the freaking masks!

    1. Federal leadership has nothing to do with it…Only recommendations and its called states rights…Study your history..Retailers trying to use Govt to bail them out of the bad PR job they’re doing with this Fauci / Birx COVID overkill…

    2. Please elaborate.

      “Retailers trying to use Govt to bail them out of the bad PR job they’re doing with this Fauci / Birx COVID overkill…”

    1. Yes, which is why the World Health Organization recommends masks for people who are known to be infected and cannot self-isolate (like in refugee camps). Unless someone sneezes or coughs directly on you (highly unlikely in the current environment), those “much larger water emissions” are not floating around in the air. They fall onto surfaces that you may touch and then touch your face because the mask gives a false sense of security (see my comment above regarding the WHO).

  4. Troy J C. So you are just wearing a fake mask? You even sound like you know you could be endangering other people. Good Job.

    You do know there is pretty strong evidence that despite whatever echo chamber you seem to be stuck in, that mask prevent the spread of an airborne virus? You do know we are in the middle of a pandemic dealing with an airborne virus?

    I am glad to hear your opinion, but do all the rest of us a favor and just stay out of public indoor places.

  5. Good for these retailers. They need to protect their employees just to stay in business. If they accidentally protected a few other people along the way, it sounds like a win win.

    Stores get to stay open because the employees aren’t getting sick as often, and maybe more people will feel a little safer when they go shopping and they start to spend a little more money.

    Don’t give me this “states rights” garbage. You wear a shoes into a store because they are trying to protect themselves from lawsuits, not because you have a constitutional right to walk around barefoot. Get over yourself. Think of other people for once.

  6. Troy, I’m with you and agree with what you’re saying. I’ve asked most of these fools at what point will they decide to brave the world and not wear a mask in public. Exactly who is in possession of the crystal ball to tell us when to discard our masks? Usually I get a blank stare or something worse like, “when there is a cure I’ll stop wearing it”. Then I have to remind them that this is a virus and there will likely NEVER be a cure. They have no idea that the cloth they are wearing on their face does practically NOTHING to prevent the spread of this virus. I guess when they are the only idiot wearing that piece of cloth on their face out in public will they rethink their position. In the meantime, the media and their loyal subjects are pushing this agenda by pressing businesses and politicians with misinformation and scare tactics. If that doesn’t work, they will try to shame us into thinking we have some kind of moral obligation to wear a piece of cloth on our face………at least until November. If you think this has nothing to do with politics, you truly are a fool. The real numbers show the curve has been flattened (original goal of the shutdowns), the virus is weakening and the death rate is declining. But hey, go ahead and keep supporting those smart entrepreneurs who want this thing to keep going because their two cent piece of cloth with a smiley face or school symbol on the front is selling like HOTCAKES!

    1. You sound just a selfish and uninformed as Troy JC. It is good to know that there are people around like you. It lets me know I need to be extra vigilant.

  7. Sorry folks but face masks are the bare minimum, if you were really trying to protect yourself. Without complete eye protection, it becomes a sham. Even at that they are not very effective. In medical situations masks protect the patients (to a certain degree) from medical personnel. They are not primarily designed for the protection of the individual wearing it unless it is in conjunction with other items such as face shield, enclosure suit (bunny suit) covering body and head plus some sort of portable breathing apparatus.
    Treatment, done quickly is the key. Getting accurate and reliable testing (which we really don’t have) is another item.
    You don’t stop this by a quarantine for the healthy, only quick identification of the sick and treatment or separation if necessary.

  8. Congratulations Mayor fadness, screwed another one up.
    1/3 of all Indiana cases are in Hamilton County ,fishers but yet no mask.Marion county says no to golf, fishers said ok
    two n a cart and he says OK All the major retailer say wear a mask still HamiltonCounty does not.
    Thank you Mayor Fadness for your help