GREENSBORO, N.C. — It has been more than a week since Gov. Roy Cooper mandated everyone wear masks in areas where social distancing is difficult.
Now, a grassroots group has created a Facebook page where people can voice concerns about which businesses are and are not following this mandate. It’s called “Mask Watch Triad.”
Esta Broderick created the Facebook page, not in an effort to shame local businesses and restaurants, but instead to warn people so they are not in uncomfortable positions.
“I want to support a healthy economy, but not at the risk of the health and safety of myself, loved ones and the people that are working there,” Broderick said.
The page is a space for people to voice their opinions on Triad dining and shopping experiences in relation to COVID-19 restrictions. Broderick created the page a couple of weeks ago, after what she calls a horrifying experience at a diner in Greensboro.
“People can check the page and see if they feel comfortable to go to an establishment,” she said.
Broderick said the page also allows people who are immunocompromised to know which places are safest for dining and shopping.
“It wasn’t until I was sitting the restaurant and I had the sticky table moment when you realize this place isn’t cleaned,” she said. “I started to notice the waitstaff didn’t have their masks on their faces.”
With more than 3 million confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus, Broderick said wearing a mask is a simple ask.
“I’m kind of dumbfounded. To me, It’s very simple. If your breath doesn’t come out of your mask, then it can’t land on the surfaces, I can’t touch it and put it in my face,” she said.
On June 23, the face mask mandate went into effect for the city of Greensboro. While most restaurants are requiring masks in order to enter, Broderick said it is because there are those that aren’t that make her and many others nervous.
“To me, if you don’t enforce that, then how are we to know if a particular establishment is following that order?” she said.
Some people are still adapting to it. Deb Keens is one of them. She was out shopping Friday and said she only brought a mask so she can get into the stores.
“I believe if your mouth and nose is covered, you’re not able to breathe properly,” Keens said. “You’re breathing in your own air — your own oxygen and that increases your cortisone level. And your immune system goes down.”
She doesn’t agree with the mandate. Keens said she has a background in interactive medicine and natural health.
She said the alternative to mask-wearing is keeping your immune system up with vitamin D and supplements.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s (the pandemic) what they saying it is. But that’s just my opinion,” Keens said.
Jacob Kauzlarich is a UNCG student who wears a mask to keep his roommate safe.
“My roommate is immunocompromised so I’m trying to lower the chances of getting COVID-19 and it’s just my social responsibility,” Kauzlarich said.
Broderick adds wearing a mask is about building our economy back by preventing the spread.
The page encourages people to tag businesses so that the business can respond to possible complaints.