An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THERE ARE TWO KINDS of stores: the kind that diligently sanitizes and takes other preventive measures after one or more COVID-19 cases have been found, and the kind that takes diligent preventive measures before they’re found.
That might sound harsh but we’ve had several local situations since this pandemic started in which virus carriers have been identified in stores. When this happens, there follow reassurances that steps are being taken, including a thorough sanitization, mandatory masks for staff members, daily screening protocols, enforcing physical distancing, and a request that customers wear masks.
That’s very commendable, and it must be acknowledged that no matter how careful merchants are, they can’t always prevent the virus from being brought into the store and spread by human contact. But they can certainly take precautions to keep any spread to a minimum.
Indeed, some stores very carefully take pre-emptive measures. I was at a store on the weekend — and I may as well name it — that totally impressed me with respect to their COVID-19 protocols.
A fellow stood outside the front door of the Chapter’s book store keeping track of how many customers were entering and leaving. When the store was at capacity, he asked new arrivals to wait until there was room.
Inside the store, nobody was without a mask, customers were encouraged to hand sanitize as they entered, and the PA system explained the measures that were being taken.
I also note that Costco has joined the growing number of stores becoming insistent about the wearing of masks. At Costco, masks are mandatory but it has taken the requirement a step further, which I really like.
Effective today, if you want to shop at Costco but, for medical reasons, can’t wear a mask, you must wear a face shield. More stores should do that, just as more of them should take the kind of precautions being practiced at Chapter’s.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.