Where you land on issues in this volatile time of needed change and upheaval is important. Resist the urge to follow the herd and repeat the "narrative" (a word I used to like as a writer but now in a repetitive echo chamber of media hacking it has become irritating) anyway, don't just follow the crowd. If everyone blacks out their social media on a day but you feel like that's not your trajectory, it's okay to sit this one out. Silence really is Golden. It doesn't mean you don't care, it means that you don't feel you need to add your voice to the NOISE.
Pick your battles and other cliche.
People who are knee jerk reacting to BLM are finding out that the movement has been ripped off by the Democratic political party who is using millions donated from well meaning folks into the pockets of politicians. So maybe wait before you align if you don't have all the answers. Celebrities who read bad scripts from their iPad at home with yoga hair and say how much they feel for the movement are cringe worthy and thirsty. Politicians who don African cloth to kneel ODDLY (and not be able to get up from the position) are pandering at best.
Companies who didn't provide masks and sick leave for their employees for months into the pandemic lockdowns who NOW require customers and staff to wear a bee keeper's suit to scan groceries have doubled down in the worst way. And they're losing business. Consumers are fickle, but they'll remember.
My best advice is to adapt. Admit you aren't a microbiologist, but take a few extra moments to read some CURRENT information on transmission, hygiene (which you should know already if you're in food handling or body work, no?) and taking the consumer pulse. Offer CHOICE. If guests want to wear a mask, that's their choice. Forcing customers to wear a mask to buy a bag of lemons? No choice. That's where you're on the wrong side of history. That's where money walks out the door. You must be dynamic in decisions and not just hold the line for one form of "policy" that turns out to be false in 2 days and you're still trying to sell tomatoes behind a plexiglass screen for no apparent reason. Beyond PR disasters, I can see a lot of looming legal action boiling on the stove. A recent post from a farmers market lifted the mask requirement because high 90s temps, lowered oxygen and lots of people spells heat stroke. Common sense prevailed.
What are we protecting ourselves from? Even the flip flopping CDC has changed their mind on 'droplets' vs. airborne and have now shown that this doesn't live on surfaces nor transfer from asymptomatic people to others. So the mask has become a virtue signaling device of rule following and another divide of Us vs Them. It's bullshit and from a science standpoint really doesn't help anything, but it makes people feel better about their decisions. I made a stand. See? I'm a do gooder. And like white girls spray painting buildings to "support BLM"? It's NOT RECOMMENDED. If you align yourself with one side are you willing to lose the revenue from the other? It's the difference between spraying down your counter tops and cleaning credit card machines in between clients or just spraying the guest in the face with bleach water. Don't be reactive. And make sure your policies make sense. Talk to people. Ask the staff. Ask your customers. Be adaptable.
So as you open your business, sit and really think. If we're in the middle of an actual active pandemic, would the drive thru at the burger joint still be open? If you are not ill, why are you wearing a face covering? If you ARE sick why are you out in public with a tissue over your face touching raw produce? Is your staff phoning it in with a mask and gloves and using the same gloved hand to take a credit card, touch a key pad that hundreds have touched before them and then reaching in to grab a cookie from the case with that same contaminated gloved hand? (this just happened to me yesterday after I watched her use her gloved hand to scratch her face because her mask is hot and uncomfortable...I said nothing but I won't return to that bakery for sure) not because I'm afraid of cooties, but because I know that they're not REALLY up to speed or concerned with health code much less viral load vectors. Or they don't understand how contamination works. So in my mind I wonder if they're using the same cutting board to cut raw chicken that they use to cut prepared food. See the slippery slope?
They're doing it for the optics. The kitchen staff hanging their faces over the sandwiches they make aren't wearing masks, so why the cashier? It makes no sense. Don't fall in line with this "new normal" crap because it changes every ten minutes. Use your brain, your immune system and your liberty of choice. If you're giving a facial and are 6 inches away from my face for over an hour, yes, mask. I don't want to smell your breath nor worry about mine. That's always the protocol where I've gone. But dress shops? Feed stores? Home Depot? It's ridiculous.