Editor

At this Point, It’s Just too Much to Ask.

Photography by Cassidy Kelley

Asheville Small business owners have had a lot to worry about this year. It has really been one worry after another for these small business owners who, in some cases, poured their entire life savings along with their heart and soul into their business. 

First, they had to worry about if the governor deemed their business “essential.” If they were considered “unessential,” they had to close, but don’t worry, the government had a loan they could takeout to help them get by. They then had to worry about the rules and regulations of the loan to try and have those loans forgiven. Otherwise, they were just deeper in debt. 

Next, they had to worry about being safe in reopening their business. Hand sanitizers, marks on their floors indicating six-foot spacing, employees who got sick with COVID-19 had to continue to receive pay and then praying that their customers would return after being closed.  Many not making it and going out of business.

Now, after all these trials, we’re still in no better shape. Actually, worse if you can believe the numbers, and the governor has asked that a mask mandate be enforced by law enforcement on businesses. 

So now, these owners have to wear a mask indoors, while, in some cases, doing intense physical labor, as well as enforcing their customers wearing masks or face monetary fines (see story page 1). Is that really what they need?

OK – I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t think masks help. In fact, with the way we all fiddle with our masks while touching everything coming and going, I think they make things worse. 

An October article by “The Federalist” stated, “A Centers for Disease Control report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them.” That report (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6936a5-H.pdf) said, “In the 14 days before illness onset [of COVID], 71% of case-patients and 74% of control-participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.” 

As I told you in a previous commentary, I broke down and started wearing masks indoors at businesses not because I believe they do or prevent anything, but because I am a big proponent of property rights. So if a business owner says, “no shirt, no shoes, no masks, no service.” I can choose to obey or go elsewhere. 

I also believe those property rights extend to the governor, and a business owner has the right to tell the governor to take executive orders #180 and #181 and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Only now the force of the law is behind his orders and these business owners are tired of fighting “city hall.” 

I would like to see one business owner stand up to the governor and go to court over these orders, but I know, at this point, it’s just too much to ask.