It’s Important to Mask Correctly

This is a plea to everyone: Wear a mask correctly while shopping in the Co-op.

In the last few weeks, the Centers for Disease Control has advised us that masking while indoors is an effective way to slow down COVID-19. Primarily, masks protect others from the virus; it also provides the wearer with some protection. However, a mask is only effective if it covers both one’s mouth and nose.

I have witnessed about one-third of people in the Co-op at any point — customers and sometimes employees (in Chestnut Hill, and to some extent in Ambler, but less so in Mt. Airy —wearing masks incorrectly, most likely unaware of the dangers they pose to others. Maybe they don’t realize that an individual can have COVID-19, yet not realize it. And it’s likely that a proportion of shoppers and employees are infected at any particular moment.

If those among us carrying the virus asymptomatically feel fine, they may not feel endangered. They may feel healthy and safe, which may explain why they don’t don masks correctly or fail to remain distant. They don’t grasp that they are a vector for spreading the disease in the Co-op. Thus, they may be inadvertently responsible for causing illness or even death.

Both Co-op employees and shoppers could be alerted to the seriousness of mask wearing. I would hope that managers or other employees would say something to anyone in our space who’s not wearing a mask correctly. I would like to feel safe while shopping at the Co-op — more so than in shopping at the Acme. I hope that the Weavers Way community will pull together in protecting one another from the virus.

We all are a walking danger to others, and we have a responsibility to minimize that threat. We can’t really know —unless we are tested every day — whether we are infected or not. To protect others, we must assume that we have the virus and act accordingly.

I loved the way that Weavers Way responded swiftly and early to this virus threat. We trust each other and have a shared faith in that trust.

— Grace Flisser