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Wed, June 03

Friday Catchall: Reopening, masks a matter of trust, perception

The Friday Catchall:

• TRUST – During the coronavirus restrictions I have noticed some things that make me ask “why?”

Of course there have been the people concerned about the spread of the disease … not wearing even a mask.

Why? Read that again; they were truly fearful, but did little to combat it.

But even more so have been the business people complaining about the stay-at-home orders and their companies teetering on the edge of failure … yet, they did not completely follow the governor’s orders.

Why?

As I have pointed out previously, I’ve been in establishments picking up to-go or web orders only to see employees not wearing masks correctly or at all. They have allowed customers to be well closer than 6 feet. And, they did not seem to care.

As we see our economy reopening, the governor has said restaurants would be allowed to reopen – but be ready for a different experience, such as reduced seating capacity (social distancing), slower service (they’re taking more time to wash up more often), among other restrictions.

I’m not seeing it.

Just this week, some of those same restaurants and businesses I previously visited are doing even worse … at protecting the public. Oh, they’re trying to social distance by putting tape on the floor, but less than half of the employees are wearing masks or face coverings at all.

Folks, if you don’t believe the masks/coverings help, fine. You also may think this is all a strange, political conspiracy.

But when the goal is to instill trust, have your employees wear a mask properly and do as the governor has said.

Why? Remember, those wearing masks are protecting you, not themselves. That means by having your employees wear masks, you are sending a message that you care about your customers.

It is a perception … that can help.

Don’t give the public reasons to go elsewhere.

• WHY? – But why do we have people or businesses ignoring or breaking the rules?

Because they think they can.

Sure the governor has spoken about $2,500 fines and potential jail time. However, early on the police said they would not be stopping cars asking people why they are not at home. They said the rules are not enforceable – or they wouldn’t be doing so.

The governor also sent the message stating the restrictions are “voluntary.”

Again, these are messages that officials are sending to us – perceptions that translate into reality.

As News/Sports Editor Brian Bergner Jr. wrote this week, “We all want our economy to grow, our businesses to stay open, and our fellow citizens to stay as healthy as possible, right? Then I wouldn’t just say those protocols are ‘voluntary,’ but a necessary blip in a big-picture thinking sort of way.”

Think about it.

• QUOTE – “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

Side note, happy anniversary to my wife! I love you.

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): ‘Blitz’ testing continues May 23 and 30 at Spectrum Health Care in Prescott.

Be there.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

Editor's Note - this column has been updated for the Pick of the Week; only Spectrum is conducting extended 'blitz' testing.

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