TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Customers and workers at Todd’s Big Star grocery store on Main Street seem to have mixed feelings about the mayor's executive order having people wear masks when inside places of business.
Face masks have become a part of everyday life during the coronavirus pandemic. Customer Paul Hampton said he just wants to keep safe.
“I don’t mind that at all,” Hampton said about the executive order. “It’s alright with me, whatever will protect us, that’s what we need.”
Customer Lisa Brown agreed with Hampton, saying she thinks the new order is a good idea.
“I think people need to be wearing masks,” Hampton said. “It’s for my protection and for your protection, because I don’t know what I have, and I don’t know what you have, so I think it’s a good idea.”
Brown also recognized it is a sensitive subject, but people need to accept it’s for good reason.
“It’s a little touchy I think to really force somebody to do that,” Lisa said, “but, people just need to realize it’s what needs to happen right now.”
According to customer Bertha Bowdry, masks give a sense of security when in public.
“I think all business should enforce that rule. I really do because when I go in a store and a person ain’t got on a mask, I start freakin’ out.”
While everyone we spoke with at Todd’s Big Star supported the order, store manager Patrick Verner thinks differently. While he is in favor of everyone being safe, there are a few aspects of the rule he’s not entirely sure he agrees with.
He said public scares over safety have hurt his business, despite managements efforts to keep people safe. He added that people don’t always respond well to being forced to wear masks.
“I don’t see how we can be asked to police our own businesses, and we’re not getting reimbursed for employees that we have to pay to stand at the front doors, and then deal with the conflict that we have to do, policing it, and asking them that you have to wear a mask or you can’t come in,” Verner said.
“I want things to be safe, and I will wear a mask myself, but I don’t think it’s fair for the city of Tupelo to tell me how to operate my business”, Verner said.