Using Masks in Your Business

Posted by: Steve Marr in In the News on Jul 27, 2020

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The use of masks has become a hot button issue for many individuals. Some believe everyone should wear a mask all the time.  Others believe it is a liberty issue and each person should be able to make their own decision regarding wearing a mask. I don’t intend to get into the political issues of mask-wearing. Rather, I want to provide a perspective for businesses. 

The Mayo Clinic has provided the guidance that masks are helpful in reducing the spread of COVID 19. Many state and local governments have issued regulations regarding the use of masks in business. However, for the purpose of this article, I would like to look at mask-wearing from a business owner’s perspective as well as from the perspective of a customer. 


First, I believe stores have the right to institute a policy that requires customers to wear a mask. My perspective is based on the private property rights the owner of an establishment has allowing them to determine how they choose to serve customers.  In my view, this includes the right to insist whether customers wear masks or not. Then, customers decide if they choose to go into a store depending on the establishment’s practice.

Since I’m considered a high-risk individual for contracting COVID 19, I make my decision based on the protocol of establishment. For example, I was picking up a food order and could see that employees were not wearing masks in the kitchen or when serving customers.  I made the decision not to return to the establishment based on what I could see as lax protocol for my safety. Other customers are free to make a different decision.

We are seeing major retailers like Walmart and Kroger determining that customers will be required to wear masks. I understand some may chafe against these rules. Asthmatic individuals may have more difficulty breathing through a mask than others and those with anxiety difficulties may also struggle wearing a mask.

If I were running a retail establishment, I would give customers the maximum comfort level concerning strategies for cleanliness and protecting health. Many customers, like myself, will simply vote with their feet and go elsewhere when they don’t feel their health is protected. Again, this is an individual choice.

Likewise, individuals are free to make their own decisions about whether to patronize establishments that require face coverings. We’ve all seen the signs “No shirt-No shoes-No service.” This is an example of a busines setting a standard for customers entering their business. We need to respect the right of businesses to make these decisions.

We’ve seen confrontational incidents over mask-wearing in stores including some tragic stories that ended in someone’s death. Rather than engaging in rage, we need to respect the rights a business has to require masks while individuals retain the right of not shopping where masks are required. 

Perhaps everyone should find a way to do as Paul wrote, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  (Philippians  2:4)