Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

From the editor: Mask Up!

Jul 02, 2020 04:54PM ● By David Dykes

No shirt. 

No shoes. 

No service.

That’s been a sign restaurants and other businesses have used because of health concerns.  

It’s time to add ‘No mask.’

The Wall Street Journal noted recently there is widespread scientific and medical consensus that face masks are a key part of the public policy response for tackling the coronavirus pandemic. 

It needs to be a key part of the private response as well.

It’s time for businesses to step up – way up  –  and insist customers wear face coverings in stores, restaurants and commercial outlets. 

It’s time for all of us to wear them.

Some cities are requiring customers to wear masks while inside grocery stores and pharmacies. They also require that employees wear masks in restaurants, retail shops, barber shops and salons.

There are so many different rules across the state it’s confusing the customers.

In passing an emergency ordinance, Greenville’s mayor and council cited the doubling of Covid-19 cases since Memorial Day in Greenville County, which has led the state with more than 3,600 cases. 

“Face covering is proven to reduce the spread of this deadly virus,” Mayor Knox White said.  “If we want to keep our citizens healthy, our businesses open and return to the normalcy we crave, we must take strong action to require masks inside essential shopping locations.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Meet the Press recently the “window is closing” to stop the virus spread, and we need to wear face coverings.

The Associated Press reported Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, predicted coronavirus cases could grow to 100,000 a day in the U.S. if Americans don’t start following public health recommendations.

Gov. Henry McMaster has warned that no high school and college football games will be played in South Carolina this fall if coronavirus cases keep surging.

Imagine that.

And, if that’s not enough, Wells Fargo Securities economists, analysts and strategists say the uptick in cases has raised concern over the likelihood of a steady U.S. economic recovery. They stress that renewed outbreaks of Covid-19 could cause state and local governments to slow down or even roll back reopening plans.

Even without official government intervention, there also is the risk that a renewed outbreak could curb spending if households pull back from the economy or businesses close out of fear of the virus, the economic analysts and strategists say.  

We don’t want a mandatory shutdown of businesses in South Carolina again.

But as the number of Covid-19 cases explodes in South Carolina and elsewhere, too many people are resistant in areas where masks aren’t required.

It infringes on individual freedoms, you say. And they’re uncomfortable, you add.

We see you and hear you. 

You (should) wear a seat belt when you drive.

So, when you arrive, put a mask on.

Your life might depend on it. Someone else’s life and our economy depend on it.

David Dykes is editor of Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly and Charleston Business Magazine.