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Two-thirds favor businesses requiring masks

An online survey that sought to outline preferences people have for businesses requiring masks or not drew 136 respondents over 13 days and elicited 52 opinions on the matter.

The online poll, conducted at, The Star's news site, using, started on July 31 and received its last response on Aug. 12.

The survey asked the question: "How do you feel about being a customer of a business that does not follow public health requirements on face coverings?"

Respondents could choose to answer by checking one of four responses:

• "I like doing business there because I don't think we should have to wear them."

• "I don't really care."

• "I'm uneasy about it." or

• "I don't really want go there until they require masks."

Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they were either uneasy about it (7.4%) or would not go into the business until they did require customers and employees to wear masks to cut down on the spread of COVID-19 (57%).

Those who didn't care (14%) or preferred such a business (21.5%) were nearly 36 percent of the total.

Respondents could choose to leave a comment, which 52 did, with their sentiments falling roughly along similar proportions: 67 percent expressing opinions that mask wearing is for the public good (34), 26% feeling it's misguided or wrong (13), and about 8 percent expressing an opinion too vague to be categorized either way (4).

A couple felt The Star was wrong to ask the question, suggesting we sought to divide the community.

A post on The Star's Facebook page pointing readers to the online poll drew comments that grew so heated that some readers advised us to take the post down. We did so after one person involved in a local retail store had, in a private message, expressed fear of what might ensue.

Most of the comments left in the survey were more measured but left no room for misinterpretation.

"I feel like we are all in this together and we need to work as a team to achieve health and safety for everyone," one respondent wrote in the open-ended survey question. "When a business refuses to follow health codes like mask requirements it makes me question their other practices as well. Since it is a pain for all of us to wear masks, I would rather give my money to a business that is trying hard to make the best of what is a hard situation."

"I will wear a bandana in a store more to protect business owners I may know and respect from the 'informers' of society that (Gov.) Inslee is using as enforcement agents for his tyrannical mandates," wrote another. "Also, a mask is nothing more than an 'illusion' of security the CDC promotes to divert the fact that they really cannot do too much about a virus until it has run its normal and natural course."

Another attempted a balanced objectivity: "While it is true that masks can help slow the spread, they are not the cure. One side preaches about them like they are the cure, while playing hall monitor on those not wearing them. The other side acts like wearing one is an infringement on our rights but never complains about a "no shirt, no shoes, no service policy" that many businesses have. The press just stirs the pot with their fake news. The only fix is a vaccine. Of course that will bring another feud between the anti-vaxxers and those with common sense. How the hell did we politicize wearing a friggin mask?

Nearly two-thirds prefer businesses that require masks.


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