Benzie County Grocer Requires Masks – with a Catch

When it comes to advice for how to preventing the Coronavirus – some common advice includes: wash your hands – and wear a mask. One grocery store in Benzie County is taking it one step further.

It’s become a debate with friends and co-workers, even family members: whether to wear a mask everywhere you go, and whether it really protects in preventing Coronavirus transmission. But at Honor Family Market it’s not optional. No mask: no service.

Gary Fender of Honor likes the sign out in front of the store. “I think it’s a good rule. You can’t be too careful. The folks at the store are just trying to keep everybody safe.”

The sign right outside the door asks all customers to wear a mask.  The grocery store will sell $1 masks to customers in need – but those who choose not to wear one could be charged a $10 “Hazardous Service” fee when they check out. So, it that sense, customers do have an option.Honor Market Mask 3

Sally Casey of Benzie County also likes the rule. “I think it’s necessary. I think we should all be thinking of other people through this whole thing.”

The store says it’s not only for the protection of employees, but for customers as well. Fender feels for the employees working through the pandemic. “These local folks that work here and that, they’re here every day. We want to make sure they’re safe, and they don’t get sick.” Casey agrees. “We’re protecting them, so they can keep going. It seems only fair.”

Not everyone remembers – but they’re willing to wait if they have to. Lauryn Gibas came to Benzie County for the holiday weekend with her friends from Detroit. “I had to go in and I bought him a mask. He had to wait outside until I got back with a mask.”

Honor Market Mask 1Gibas isn’t a huge fan of the masks, but says she understands being asked to wear one. “If they require it I’ll wear it, just to make people more comfortable. It’s tough to breathe honestly. But if it makes people feel better. I don’t like getting the stares in case I forget it one day. There’s a lot of people that aren’t wearing them. Personally I forget sometimes. But I guess it keeps people safe.”

Sally Casey thinks it’s simple: “The sign says No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. What is the difference if you add, No Mask No Service?”

The market management didn’t want to comment. They do say on their Facebook page that they haven’t had to charge anyone the ten dollar fee, and people who don’t want to wear a mask may just be finding somewhere else to shop.

Categories: Coronavirus