I wanted to spend a moment to thank and show appreciation to Sherm’s Thunderbird Market in Roseburg. They are the one grocery store in town that I’ve seen take the mask mandate seriously and conscientiously. I don’t see other stores do this. I had visited another grocery this Sunday morning, and there were half a dozen people with no mask. Mind you, they were not simply indifferent. They were openly defiant. To meet their gaze provoked an angry stare back, as if to ask, “You got a problem with something?” They were proud to be ignorant and inconsiderate.

I am writing this letter on Easter Sunday, which makes it particularly poignant. The self-righteous-holy roller-religious-conservatives love to sanctimoniously pose the question, “What would Jesus do?” I am not a Christian, but I keenly suspect that if Jesus believed that there was a 20%, 10%, or even 5% chance that he could pass a contagious virus on to somebody, who would pass that virus on to somebody who would later get sick and die, then he would have the humility, kindness and love for humanity to wear a mask to prevent that possibility. Yes, things are getting much better. The risk is decreasing. But it is not gone. France recently shut down again. Cases are ticking up in Germany. Brazil is a nightmare. In the United States, cases and fatalities are again going up likely due to Spring break, complacency and fatigue. Thus, in spite of the vaccination program, it is likely that another 30,000 to 60,000 people will die before we are through. For this reason, good stewards of public health and safety need to be applauded. Sherm’s, you have my thanks, admiration — and business.

Scott Mendelson

Roseburg

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(21) comments

BetsyC

One is not exempt from wearing a mask in public buildings because they had the vaccine. Also being fully vaccinated does not guarantee you will not contract the virus or be able to spread it. So you still need to wear a mask in public spaces indoors where other people are.

You don't need to wear a mask when you are with others who are all vaccinated. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

So bad intent may not be the reason people are unmasked, but they still should be masked. Stores and other retail establishments need to just make sure they are no matter the reason. Pretty simple concept.

Kudos for Sherms for finally starting to pay closer attention to this public health issue. Heads up! This did not happen until after some customers made a concerted effort to contact their corporate office about the issue.

Please be aware that if a place sells alcohol, making a complaint to Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and OSHA are warranted. That is after one asks the establishment to voluntarily comply with making sure everyone is abiding by CDC guidelines and Gov's orders. Sherm's actually avoided some formal complaints by just responding to customers' concerns.

mworden

What's with all this self-righteous pretending about how awful it is to make judgments from a mere look at people? I make judgments by a mere glance at people all the time and so do you. That's what humans do unless we've undergone extensive training to halt that automatic process. Quickly judging our surroundings for danger or safety is an important survival skill. It's probably hard-wired into our nervous systems.

See those guys in the mugshots that litter these pages. All covered with sores, scratches and dark spots nothing like regular acne? One glance and I say, "Meth," and I steer clear of them.

If you're in a public place without a mask or face shield on, you're not even trying. You don't have a note from your doctor because that ship sailed as being fake. You're not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. You're just selfish and don't care about the safety of other people. Just like I look at an ill-groomed person covered in a certain type of facial sores and say, "meth," I am not one bit ashamed to look at someone defiantly going mask-free in a public place that has a mask requirement and saying, "Selfish follower of the reactionary right, fake patriot, too much time on Fox News or worse and/or social media."

And if the retailer is looking the other way, then I'm not too eager to do business there.

I'm tired of the reactionary right acting all self-righteous and outraged when they're judged for not wearing masks in public places where they are required. Nearly 600,000 Americans are dead. A lot of them because of selfish people who didn't care if they passed the virus on to vulnerable people. So, add blaming to my list of character defects along with judging.

So, yep, if I see you at the grocery store not wearing a mask, I'll think to myself, "Reactionary right-wing narcissist." And you'll probably look at me and think, "Poor sheeple," or something worse.

Just don't pretend you don't do it. If you don't make any judgments, please be careful in the parking lot. You probably thought that guy with the sores and bad teeth walking toward you in the dark looked like a kindred spirit because he didn't have a mask on. Sometimes judging is not a bad thing. Stay safe out there.

Rise722

If you have had the virus and recovered you are immune. End of story.

mworden

Just today, April 7, the CDC issued a travel warning saying that even fully vaccinated people may be at risk for catching and spreading variants. People still need to wear masks, socially distance, avoid crowds and wash their hands.

It's not over until it's over. That's the end of the story.

William Russo

Wow, Scott seems to be able to read peoples' minds - he can look people not wearing a mask and know they are being defiant by the way they look at him. Maybe they have a doctor's letter stating they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. But Scott doesn't bother to think about that. No, he automatically knows they are "holy rollers". What a joke!

Marine Vet

The News Reveiw doesn't Believe in Wearing Masks at their place of Business tho. I Won a on line radio contest & had to go there to pick up my winnings. I Entered the building Yesterday 04/06/2021. Of the 30 plus people I seen, Not a Single person was wearing a Mask.! Not 1. And while I had to wait 5 min's for the chick to find the gift, They had some kind of Staff Meeting up front. I Watch as over 12 to 15 people crowd into a Small room shoulder to shoulder & Close the door. Question really is. Can YOU TRUST a Newpaper that OPENLY Flaunts No Mask Wearing As a ( Reliable ) source of Covid-19 Information.? Knowing that That Business the News Review DOESNT BELIEVE IN WEARING MASKS>? Again, Not A Single person in the Entire building was wearing a mask. Or maybe they all have been Vaccinated already.? I am a Service connected Veteran with other health concerns & I'm Still on a Waiting List at this VA.!? What Kind of Example do we have here with the News Review.?

MI Go Beav

Wow, Scott sounds like a very judgmental person who quickly makes assumptions based on only what he sees. If he's that worried about the virus, he should stay in bed and don't leave his home.

Scott Mendelson

I am vaccinated, and I no longer worry for my own safety. The problem is that when ignorant, inconsiderate people have no concern for the virus, they spread it to others, perpetuate the disease, and propagate mutations that could be even more dangerous. My staying home would not prevent your ignorance and lack of consideration from harming the rest of the population. Is that too difficult for you to understand?

MI Go Beav

Did you ever think the people without masks have already received the vaccine? Also, you have demonstrated with your own words that you are a judgmental person who makes assumptions based on stereotypes. You have a good day.

InDWoods

Isn't it interesting how the author of this opinion piece profiles the people in the store who are not wearing a mask. He knows just by looking at them that they are Christians and conservatives.

Scott Mendelson

Are you suggesting that Dallas Heard ripped off his mask in the State House because he is a Socialist and devout Druid?

InDWoods

Was one of the individuals in Sherm's Dallas Heard? No? Then you really are just making assumptions about individuals based on population level statistics. In other words, you are profiling.

Scott Mendelson

There is indeed no basis here for deductive reasoning, à la "All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal." However, there is strong basis for inductive reasoning. As you have alluded, the statistics show that far and away the group most likely to vehemently refuse to wear a mask in public places is White, Evangelical Christian Republican supporters of Donald Trump. No question. That's where the smart money goes. My hunch is that you fall in that category. But if you wear a mask, I applaud you.

InDWoods

No, I am not a Christian Trump supporter. This illustrates the fallacy of your reasoning.

Scott Mendelson

Then I applaud you all the more.

NJ

Okay, we'll take your point on not knowing what an individual's belief system is. But if you've been paying attention over the last 13-14 months, you would have noticed that the big hoax lie was begun by the grifting criminal in our White House who, in desperation to become a dictator, indoctrinated the entire Republican Party to fall in line with the world according to him and only him. It doesn't speak to all Conservatives which is different from political party affiliation, however it does rightfully identify the belligerent Trumpublican, the new Republican Party members. In their either willful or accidental ignorance they feel it's just their right to ignore a deadly virus even if it means killing others. And it will. To anyone of common sensibilities, those of that ilk could even be accused of attempting the murder of their innocent victims. And all about a tiny little mask. Is a tiny little mask worth becoming an incidental murderer just to belligerently affirm one's political affiliation?

Marine Vet

The News Reveiw doesn't Believe in Wearing Masks at their place of Business tho. I Won a on line radio contest & had to go there to pick up my winnings. I Entered the building Yesterday 04/06/2021. Of the 30 plus people I seen, Not a Single person was wearing a Mask.! Not 1. And while I had to wait 5 min's for the chick to find the gift, They had some kind of Staff Meeting up front. I Watch as over 12 to 15 people crowd into a Small room shoulder to shoulder & Close the door. Question really is. Can YOU TRUST a Newpaper that OPENLY Flaunts No Mask Wearing As a ( Reliable ) source of Covid-19 Information.? Knowing that That Business the News Review DOESNT BELIEVE IN WEARING MASKS>? Again, Not A Single person in the Entire building was wearing a mask. Or maybe they all have been Vaccinated already.? I am a Service connected Veteran with other health concerns & I'm Still on a Waiting List at this VA.!? What Kind of Example do we have here with the News Review.?

NJ

The example they're setting is, "we don't want you to come in here at all and if you wander in we'll work hard at making sure we won't keep you safe". Strange way to do business isn't it. [huh]

mworden

[thumbup] Thanks, Scott.

Marine Vet

Please read my comment to NJ. What is your take.?

mworden

Hi, Marine Vet. I would certainly feel uncomfortable if I had to work in a place that ignored covid safety precautions. On the safe side, my memory is that the N-R building is airy and has a high ceiling. Most of the desks are not jammed together because the reporters need room to work and talk on the phone. They can stay six feet apart. So, yeah, I wouldn't like it, but it's probably not a super unsafe environment, except for the meeting you saw.

I have another take on it that rather annoys people. The N-R is a business. It's a newspaper business. As much as I would like them to stay safe and be a good example for other people, they really have no obligation to act as role models. They are not elected officials. They don't feed out of the government trough. To my knowledge, they aren't receiving any funds from Gov. Brown to launch and support covid restrictions in the community.

I have never once looked to the N-R staff as community role models or as exemplars of how people should act in relation to public health. Many national news organizations stand out as exemplars of disinformation about the pandemic. The N-R has been pretty good at keeping the public informed with good info. Providing the public with factual stories and informed opinion is their job. Acting as exemplars of public health .. nope, not in the job description. But it's a shame if they don't use common sense.

However, I do expect our elected and hired government leaders to demonstrate a good example to the citizenry. It's their jobs to lift our communities up and to help us run smoothly, fairly and to be the best we can be for all the people. Instead the tell us to stay home and hide in fear if we don't like their version of liberty. That's arrogance and plain lack of caring.

I would like to see folks at the N-R take safety precautions, but I'm not surprised or annoyed to hear if they choose not to. It's unfortunate.

But when I see Commissioner Chris Boice or Senator Heard openly flaunt minor safety rules like wearing a mask and when they urge others to do the same, my hair practically bursts into flame. It is literally their job to keep the county and state up and running and they are doing their best to keep the pandemic going while accepting salaries paid for by the taxpayers along with big taxpayer funded PPP money for their private businesses. They are not hurting. Their salaries have not been reduced, they have not lost their medical insurance. They care more about their egos than they care about the lives, safety and well-being of the citizens they're supposed to represent.

They are bad examples -- role models of narcissism and aggression -- and when our government leaders become blowhard examples of selfishness while raking in the public loot for themselves, we are in trouble as a culture.

So when it comes to being good role models for the public I say that it would be nice, but it's not really the N-R's job. When it comes to our elected officials sucking up money from the government trough while encouraging people to keep the pandemic going, well ... I need to find the fire extinguisher, my head has burst into flame ... again.

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