EDITORIAL – More stores should get tough on COVID-19 before it happens

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9122 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – More stores should get tough on COVID-19 before it happens

  1. Doesn’t really matter where you picked up the virus. Anytime you are out-and-about, wear the damn mask! Somethings should be shared but the virus isn’t one of them.

  2. Ian MacKenzie // November 16, 2020 at 10:49 AM // Reply

    Absolutely, without doubt, let’s get on with it, preferably mandatory such as Costco has done!

  3. Dave Monsees // November 16, 2020 at 9:36 AM // Reply

    Well, we dress everybody up to go to work to shine before the public, then we go home, take off all the protective masks, and go on to the bar, or party or what ever, and the bubble expands to include someone that spreads the virus. Or maybe he just heads over to the neighbors place who has come in contact with some one else. I believe it’s the lack of protection in the private lives of the workers that is causing the problems, not what is happening at work.

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