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Walmart will enforce mask wearing for all customers, starting July 20. Other retailers are likely to follow. UPDATE: Lin’s has announced it will also require masks, also starting next Monday.

The rule will be enforced: “Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20.” More: corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2020/07/15/a-simple-step-to-help-keep-you-safe-walmart-and-sams-club-require-shoppers-to-wear-face-coverings

A recent email to customers explaining the policy reads:

 

Dear valued customer,

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority has been the health and safety of both you and our associates.

Starting Monday, July 20, we will require all customers to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores. According to the CDC and other health officials, COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infected. This is a simple step that we and other retailers are taking to help protect your safety and the safety of others.

You may already be wearing a face covering while you shop. In fact, about 65 percent of our stores are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings.

We’ll have a health ambassador stationed near the entrance of our stores to help remind you of this policy. The ambassadors will be identifiable by their black polo shirts.

We also encourage you to try our pickup and delivery services, which do not require the use of a mask. Sign up through our app or Walmart.com.

Thank you for being an important part of the Walmart family, and for your help in ensuring that shopping at our stores is a safe experience for all.

-The Walmart Customer Care Team

 

Why are retailers requiring masks? And, why now?

Perhaps it has something to do with these two statements made this past weekend, after months of study and research:

“If we all wore masks, I think that’s probably the most important thing we can do right now to make sure that [the US’ economic] rebound is faster, not slowing. Many small businesses that might have made it without the resurgence in the virus will not make it,” said Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan. More: www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-kaplan/want-more-jobs-wear-a-mask-says-feds-kaplan-idUSKCN24E2HG

Also from this past weekend: “If everyone could wear a face covering over the next 6 weeks we could drive this (coronavirus) into the ground,” said CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield. More: www.yahoo.com/entertainment/cdc-director-robert-redfield-everyone-012841211.html

 

Masks during the 1918 Spanish Flu PandemicThis is not the first time America has been through this.
Shown: Masks during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.

 

The possibility of returning society to normal — in only 4 to 6 weeks! — would be such an enormous blessing, for our economy and our personal health, that wearing a mask in the meantime seems a very small price to pay.

Apparently, executives at Walmart agree. With fall approaching, and another flu season soon to befall us, healing up completely beforehand seems the only reasonable goal.

Further, many experts suspect that, without more voluntary mask-wearing, the increasing death toll will lead inexorably to a national mask-wearing requirement, with accompanying punishments.

Although the COVID-19 toll in our area seems limited (thus far), deaths across our nation have already reached record-breaking numbers — far exceeding both deaths from the annual flu and the death tolls in any other country. A reminder: The USA is home to only 4.23% of the global population.

The Richfield Walmart has bandannas for sale near its south entrance. They cost a little over $1.00. It seems likely most everyone can afford one.

Regardless, the message now is simple:

“Wear a mask…

“Or else.”