I drove down to Ridgecrest, CA today to resupply, visiting Walmart and Stater Bros.
I made a point of counting people at Walmart with and without facial coverings. After a substantial sampling, I arrived at this figure: 85% of the customers were NOT wearing facial coverings and many of those wearing them had only the most basic ineffectual kind and often not even covering the nose. I did observe people generally keeping social distancing of six feet, and the Walmart employees themselves were wearing masks.
Same situation at Stater Bros (a grocery store).
Stopping at FedEx, the sign on the door said that entry could be refused to anyone not wearing a mask. Most other businesses were visibly closed.
So Governor Newsom locks down the state, shuttering businesses, throwing people out of work, destroying businesses forever.
Meanwhile, Walmart lets people enter the store without any requirement for wearing a mask. I saw no sanitizer for the carts, no barriers at checkout stands—nothing at Walmart different than two months ago other than employees wearing masks (and gloves for checkout clerks).
Gloves are changed by clerks 4 times a day (I asked)—thus the clerks once having contaminated hands then contaminate everything they touch for up to two hours. And two items I needed were in locked cases, and were handled with bare hands by Walmart employees (instead of just letting me take the items out that I needed), thus potentially contaminating my purchases.
Can someone tell me the point of destroying lives and livelihoods by government force when the most frequented stores of all have 85% of customers taking no meaningful precautions? And with store employees themselves the most likely vectors for infection (lack of gloves and the handling of every customer item at checkout, items handled by each and every customer). This is madness. I anticipated this, so I asked my clerk to put on new gloves prior to handling my items—she complied and I thanked her.
Places like Walmart should have the MOST strict requirements since large numbers of people frequent the store, versus many small businesses which can easily take precautions for small numbers of customers.
Walmart is a huge conglomerate and will easily survive, but many small businesses are gone forever, and how many people have been hurt financially in ways that will take years to recover from? It’s an intolerable situation when the government hurts the “little guy” and favors big business.
This disjointed reality is shocking. Shame on Governor Newsom for wrecking lives by forcing people out of work (losing their savings and their businesses and worse) while allowing gigantic businesses like Walmart to operate without basic precautions like mask requirements, sanitizer for carts, etc.