On June 19, I noticed two gentlemen standing in the checkout lane with me at the Ralphs on PCH. Neither were wearing masks. I politely asked them if they would put on masks. One immediately did so. The other seemed not to hear. When I asked the checker why this was happening, he called the store manager.
The store manager told me that Kroger/Ralphs policy is not to enforce the mask requirement for the safety of their employees. When I asked about the security guard standing in the parking lot, she said he also is their employee and will not require customers to don masks.
This is despite the fact that it is, to my understanding, the law throughout California.
The Laguna Beach Ralph’s store in particular is extremely cramped. I have heard from an employee that its location and small size makes it one of the most profitable per-square-foot Ralphs in California.
In the pandemic the Laguna store is also potentially the most dangerous, particularly when Laguna is the third highest city in the County in COVID-19 cases per 10,000 population.
The last time I was at both Gel-sons, there was a person at the door, sanitizing carts and metering social distancing and masks. There is nothing stopping Ralphs from doing the same. The manager told me she would convey my concern but that this is Kroger policy. Kroger is not just the largest supermarket in California; it is the largest supermarket in America. It can afford to do better by the health of its customers and by the law.
I suggest we shop elsewhere until this situation is remedied.
Kiku Terasaki, Laguna Beach
I think we have gotten off track when it comes to wearing a mask or not. On the one hand, the vast majority of medical experts believe wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. On the other hand, those who refuse to wear a mask say it is perfectly legal for them to “just say no.”
Shouldn’t we be doing everything possible to slow the spread of the coronavirus? Why not pass a federal law requiring every citizen to do his or her part in the war on COVID?
At 71, I’m old enough to remember the good ol’ days of driving without a seat belt. The objections to enacting the federal Motor Safety Law in 1968 were virtually the same then as they are now to wearing a mask. In the end, Congress decided the health and safety of all Americans outweighed an individual’s right to drive any which way he or she wanted.
The old phrase, “You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight,” ap-
plies to our current battle against COVID-19. Simply put, attacking the virus piece meal state by state, county by county, city by city—isn’t working. We need a unified, national plan to break the back of this virus. It’s time everyone, and I mean everyone, buckle up and join the fight. Wear a mask.
Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach
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