I had breakfast at Red’s Kitchen and Tavern in Peabody, Massachusetts today. Occupancy was at least 80 percent. None of the customers were masked (partly due to the fact that they were eating!). None of the cooks or servers were masked. The hostess was not masked. In walks a family of four, the parents perhaps 40 years old. Both parents and their middle school-aged children were wearing cloth/paper masks of the kind that #Science says provide almost no protection to the wearer (but, as demonstrated in Peru and the Czech Republic, when ordered for the general public and enforced by the police and military, can protect a whole population!). They kept their masks on until their food was served.
Our governor’s 69 emergency orders are no longer in effect so they didn’t have to wear masks by law/regulation/dictate. This is the North Shore, not Cambridge or Boston, so there was no apparent social pressure to wear a mask. There was no immediate social pressure to wear a mask from anyone else in the restaurant. Why would they wear a mask? #AbundanceOfCaution is the seemingly obvious answer. Except if that were the explanation, they would have simply stayed home and prepared groceries previously delivered by an army of Latinx essential workers. Why go into a crowded restaurant and rely on 3-cent paper surgical masks as PPE? Or, if slightly less cautious, wouldn’t they have gone to a drive-through and eaten in the COVID-19-free environment of their automobile? Or, if God had told them that they had to eat in that very restaurant that very morning, they could have worn N95 masks that would have had some chance of filtering out incoming Delta variant.
I don’t begrudge them their moderate level of coronapanic. One of the great things about Florida is that each resident is free to choose his/her/zir/their own level of coronapanic. I’m just wondering what moderately coronapanicked people are doing in a crowded restaurant in which nobody else is masked!
On a mostly unrelated note… here’s a $5 item from the Whole Paycheck in Bedford, MA:
I’m wondering why this is effective marketing. For the righteous who wish to purchase based on victimhood status, wouldn’t it work just as well to put a photo of the owners, maybe with traditionally female names attached and dressed as what we used to call “women”? The “Women Owned” legend risks, I would think, discouraging haters from buying. The Neanderthals who refuse to sort vendors by victimhood category may yet be happy to buy from “Judy and Kate” (just as they were happy to buy from Home Depot when Marvin Ellison was a top executive there and they’re happy to buy from Lowe’s now that Mr. Ellison is CEO, but they might not want to buy from Lowe’s if it put a big “Black-Managed” sign on the front).
[Disclaimer: I went into the Whole Paycheck to return an Amazon purchase (the Army of the Essential picked the wrong item off the shelf), not because I would ordinarily be pretentious enough to shop there. I did buy a watermelon on the way out, which turned out to be terrible. A replacement watermelon from Shaw’s (a regular supermarket for regular people) was vastly superior.]