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EDITORIAL: Businesses can insist you wear a mask

EDITORIAL: Businesses can insist you wear a mask

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Unless you’re in a city such as Milwaukee or Madison, you don’t have to wear a mask when you’re outdoors in public. We recommend that you do so, but you don’t have to.

Inside a business establishment is another matter.

A business can require you to wear a mask on its premises. Businesses are private property, and a sign indicating that customers must wear a mask is no different than a sign reading “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.”

Last week, Target and CVS joined Walmart, Kohl’s and Kroger’s in requiring customers to wear masks within its stores. Smaller retailers may follow suit.

You don’t have a right to shop at a particular business.

If you refuse to wear a mask when a business requires it, they can deny you service. They’re free to deny you service; you’re free to shop elsewhere.

You don’t have to like being denied service. But we urge you to not take out your frustration on the person at the door; he or she is enforcing the company’s policy, but surely did not create the policy. Give that employee a break.

There’s something else to keep in mind:

Nearly everybody in 2020 has a smartphone that can record video.

If you’re going to throw a temper tantrum over your refusal to wear a mask in a store, you should be prepared for people you know to get in touch, asking “Was that you throwing things around and screaming like a maniac in the video I saw on Facebook?”

If you’re going to lose your mind in public, be prepared to have that all over social media. Because businesses can still deny you entry or service if you don’t comply with their policies.

Or you could just wear a mask.

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