Corporate Mask Mandates Not Being Enforced in Oklahoma

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Corporate Mask Mandates Not Being Enforced in Oklahoma

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I live in Oklahoma and there is currently no statewide mask mandate, nor has there been one since the business shutdowns started in March. When businesses such as Walmart and Walgreens began mask requirements, I assumed this would be at least a barrier of protection for those of us that wear masks. In Oklahoma City and Norman, both nearby larger urban cities, there are city mask mandates. These seem to be somewhat enforced in the stores and very few people are seen not wearing a mask in those cities. In nearby, more rural areas, such as Newcastle. Walmart began store or corporate mask mandates that forced customers to wear a mask. The door's entry was blocked by a guided entry path that led shoppers past a store employee that handed out masks for those that did not have one. This seemed to be a fairly good deterrent for those that avoided masks. By July I was noticing that customers took masks, but then later threw them in the trash. Employees were not enforcing the masks and some customers were avoiding those that didn't wear masks. In September we entered the Newcastle, Oklahoma Walmart and noticed that the entry had changed and Walmart was no longer acknowledging people that did or did not wear masks. By the beginning of October, as COVID-19 cases were reaching high daily numbers in Oklahoma, Walmart customers in Newcastle were now increasingly shopping without masks. My girlfriend and I used to count the number of people that didn't wear masks, it was a mental note of whether things were improving or dissolving. Now, we count those that wear masks. The number that wear masks are consistently lower, than those without. We have been to Walmart more than once since first of October where we were two of less than ten shoppers that had masks. The numbers seem to be on the decline and Walmart is not enforcing its own requirements. The last time we needed products from Walmart, we decided to go to Walgreens in Newcastle instead since it was less crowded. There were only five to six other customers besides us in Walgreens, but we were the only two wearing masks.

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This item was submitted on October 16, 2020 by Clinton P. Roberts using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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