Thursday, January 27, 2022

Coronavirus Update 1-27-22: Whole Foods 1 – Maskhole 0 😷

You have every right to believe that masks are a form of government control or a satanic tool. You're very wrong, but you are free to believe what you want to believe. 

What you aren't free to do, however, is to act on those beliefs when they run counter to the rules of the employer for which you work or the business you want to enter. 

Case in point: Manning v. Whole Foods Market Group.

In early 2021 Whole Foods maintained a corporate-wide policy that all customers wear face coverings while shopping inside its stores. Ryan Manning entered a Whole Foods store unmasked in contravention of that policy. He did so because he believes that masks "are part of a satanic ritual" and that "he cannot slowly commit suicide by lowering his immune system and depriving himself of oxygen." When store managers advised him of Whole Foods' mask policy, he told them that they were violating his religious freedoms. After Manning called the police in an attempt to engage in a citizen's arrest of the store's managers, those same managers attempted to work out a compromise. The head manager offered to shop for Manning, but Manning refused. He also offered to allow Manning inside the store unmasked if he passed a health screening and temperature check. Manning also rejected that idea, claiming that it also violated his rights. Ultimately, Manning left the store. Four months later he filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Whole Foods and the store managers violated his Constitutional rights and committed various other miscellaneous torts.

The Court had little difficulty dismissing Manning's lawsuit in its entirety. Its parting shot, located in footnote 5 appended to the opinion's conclusion, is worth reading as it sums up everything wrong with the argument against businesses implementing and enforcing mask rules:

In closing, the Court cannot help but note the following: despite the myriad of claims brought by Plaintiff, there is no constitutional, statutory, or common law right to jeopardize the health of others by shopping in a Whole Foods, without a mask, in contravention of its prudent policy, during a mass pandemic. If your heart is set on products from a market with a mask requirement and you can't or won't wear a mask, your choices are to get your food delivered, have someone else shop for you, or reconsider wearing a mask for your own health and the good health of the other shoppers.
Exercising one's personal choice to shop at any retailer means following its rules. E.g., "No shirt, no shoes, no service." Or, "You can't open a bag of chips, eat one, and leave the opened bag on the shelf." Or, "Don't pee in the aisle." No one debates the logic of these rules, or that Whole Foods (or any business) has the right to implement and enforce them as a condition of entering and remaining inside. "Masks required," is no different. If you don't want to comply, shop somewhere else or order delivery.

Or, to put it another way, don't be a maskhole