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Who’s Enforcing Mask Rules? Retail Workers, and They’re Getting Hurt

The exchange was tense between the customer and Jesse, a Trader Joe’s employee sporting a white face mask and a flowery Hawaiian shirt.

“Why aren’t you wearing the mask?” Jesse asked the customer on a recent day at a store in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “I am not here to question what you believe in. These are the rules. I am just asking you kindly to wear the mask.”

The customer, Genevieve Powers, who was recording the entire exchange, refused. “We are in America here,” she said, “Land of the free.” Then she turned her camera on other shoppers, who were less than amused: “Look at all of these sheep that are here, all wearing this mask that is actually dangerous for them.”

Jesse, identified only by his first name in the video, telephoned the police, who did not arrive. Finally, when Ms. Powers left the store, others customers burst into applause.

- Digital Partner -

As more parts of the country reopen businesses, many retail workers have reluctantly turned into de facto enforcers of public health guidelines, confronting customers who refuse to wear masks or to maintain a wide distance from others. The risk of a violent reaction now hangs over jobs already fraught with health perils.

A Target employee in Van Nuys, California, ended up with a broken left arm after helping to remove two customers who refused to wear masks.

A cashier told a man refusing to wear a mask that he could not buy a pack of cigars at a convenience store in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. He punched her three times in the face.

In San Antonio, Texas, a man who was told he could not board a public bus without a mask shot a passenger, the police said. The victim was hospitalized and the gunman was arrested.

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And in a confrontation that turned deadly, the security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after insisting that a customer put on a mask… MSN News

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