Shoppers reflect on mask-wearing policies instituted by businesses after conflict in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — Video of a confrontation sparked by a mask between a customer and three employees at the Cedar City Smith’s recently surfaced. 

According to a FOX13 article, the customer was wearing his mask in “superhero style,” tied around his head with holes cut out for his eyes. In the video, Smith’s employees confront the customer and say he is not wearing his mask properly.

The video also captures the confrontation escalating with the use of expletives and threats to “throw out” the customer. 

Several grocery stores and businesses have recently instituted policies requiring customers to wear masks while shopping. Cedar City News asked shoppers how they felt about such policies. 

Gene Kartchner told Cedar City News the policy “doesn’t bother” him at all, and if other customers are bothered, they should go to a different store. 

“If you don’t want to wear yours and they require it, then you have the right to choose a different store,” Kartchner said. 

Melanie Barker said she was initially upset by such policies. 

“After you think about it, we want to protect people, and I think it’s the smartest thing to do,” Barker said. “I feel bad for the people that have to reinforce it because they’re just trying to do their job.”

Lindsey Harris said she thinks the policy is “respectful to other people.” Harris also said stores should be allowed to enforce their policies. 

“If there’s a standard that is required then everybody should agree to uphold that, otherwise they should be able to refuse the right of service to those who ignore the policies,” Harris said. 

Lori Olsen, who was visiting Cedar City from California, said she feels sympathy for employees who have to enforce company policies mandating masks, but she agrees with the policy. 

“I feel really bad for employees that have to do that because that would be uncomfortable, but I would totally support them if they did,” Olsen said. “I am grateful when I see other people wearing a mask. I’m happy to wear a mask. I’m a very conservative person — I don’t see it as political, I see it as protecting people.”

Ieleen Russell said masks are “ineffective, especially these little paper ones and some of these thin things that people are wearing.”

“They have no value — if you’re going to wear a mask, you really should wear one that’s N95 or better,” Russell said.

Russell also said if a store has made masks mandatory for shoppers, customers should anticipate employees enforcing it.

“If it’s listed at the door you should expect it,” Russell said. “Whether they work or not doesn’t matter — it’s their store policy.” 

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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