Mask Mandate in Idaho


Melia Blackwell, Opinions Writer

Wearing a mask in Kootenai County isn’t nearly as common. You can go around town and notice that the businesses have “masks are recommended” signs somewhere towards the entrance of the business.

The employees, who are required to monitor the buildings and help people with their needs are required to wear masks. 

One business that I work for and requires masks is Ross in Coeur d’Alene. If we don’t bring a mask with us they are supplied at the front of the store in a box for anyone’s use.

When wearing a mask at work you have to become in a way vulnerable to the people who wear a mask and make them feel like they are understood and that you’re on their side, whether you are or not.

Working in retail, you begin to realize how many faces you come across and sometimes you listen to their opinions on just about anything including COVID.

Sydney Gerrior, a junior and also works at Ross, isn’t a huge fan of wearing a mask but she states, “I don’t mind wearing a mask at work, it’s part of the job and if I didn’t have to I wouldn’t but because it’s required and I only work weekends, it’s not too bad.”

One lady asked to go to the restroom, when she came out I noticed she was shaking the water off her hands. I assumed it was because the air dryers in the bathrooms didn’t dry her hands very well so I commented on how I wasn’t a huge fan of them and how they didn’t really dry anything.

The lady, who was a little older, told me she refused to use them because they spread germs around everywhere. She didn’t wanna get sick and the last thing she needed was to use an air dryer that spread them everywhere. 

Normally I would disagree or agree depending on my stance on the topic, but to hopefully get her to come back and shop at our store I simply agreed with her and let her tell me her entire stance on the mask mandate.

Situations like these happen at any store, but the majority of people here in Kootenai don’t wear masks which leads to the question of why you’re wearing one. There are even points in the conversation where they may insult you a little until you give them an answer.

Most believe and know masks do not work, the others could argue differently and as long as both sides are doing what they want to do and what they believe in, then there shouldn’t be a problem between the two people. Masks for employees should be required simply because you can explain to one side why you’re wearing it and sympathize with the other.