Local businesses: Mask up, or I’ll walk away

A little inconvenience like masks prevent a much larger problem.

Dear plateau business owners,

I’d like to talk to you a little bit about convenience.

I understand that wearing a mask is decidedly inconvenient. They’re stuffy, scratchy, uncomfortable, fog up one’s glasses and make it difficult to understand one another. I also understand the science is very clear that the simple donning of a mask, combined with social distancing, will contain the airborne spread of the coronavirus and prevent us from transmitting it to one another. This, I find, to be the most convenient option available to us (vs. stay home/stay safe orders and such) to limit the spread of COVID-19 and continue to have a relatively normally functioning society in which you, as a business, can continue to exist.

The virus, it seems, doesn’t care about your politics or your race or your religion or your karma or how much power you wield or whether or not you were a model student or sports star. It is simply looking for a host so it can multiply and the easiest, most reliable and most cost effective way for us to beat it is to deny it hosts through wearing masks and giving each other a little space.

As a consumer in this day and age, it is extremely convenient to order anything I want from camping gear to bar nuts to food to hardware to dirt bikes to tractors and have it delivered right to my front door with next day delivery at the push of a button. It is actually much less convenient for me to drive into town and patronize your business but my belief in the importance of community and supporting local business has caused me to look the other way from all the non-compliance with mask laws (a big thank you to businesses who have shown a commitment to protect the community by masking up!). In other words, because I want you to succeed, I put my desire to help support local business ahead of my desire to keep myself, my family and my community safe and healthy.

No more. I’m wiping the slate clean today. From now on, every business will get an opportunity to do the right thing and mask up to protect their customers. If I walk into your establishment and see you and/or your employees not taking the small, inconvenient step of wearing a mask to protect me then I will no longer take the much larger inconvenient step to spend my hard earned money in your place of business. Not ever again. To speak it plainly, show me that you care as much about my family as we care about you, or lose my family’s business forever.

I know I’m only one person but I also know I’m not alone in this sentiment so proceed as you see fit. I hope to see you (masked up) soon and I hope we can work together to see our way through this and come out stronger on the other side.

James Montgomery