While requirements to wear masks may not be the law of the land in Arizona, many retailers are making face masks mandatory within their doors.
- In Arizona, we hate wearing masks
- Walmart and Sam’s Club stores announce mandatory face masks starting July 20
- Kroger announces mandatory face masks starting July 22
- Other retailers requiring masks include Best Buy, Starbucks and Costco
"The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered the behavior of most Americans unrecognizable. Handshakes have turned into elbow bumps. School and work are conducted remotely. Socializing happens virtually. And now even our faces are becoming nearly unrecognizable as we don a mask in order to go out.
Outside of an operating room or a bank robbery, masks are not the norm in Western countries. At times, face coverings, whether women’s veils or bandanas worn by demonstrators, have sparked outright bans. In some parts of the U.S. during the pandemic, the requirement to put on a mask has brought about political protests, arrests and even violence. A security guard in Michigan was killed after telling a customer to put on a mask. Even for the large majority of Americans who are willing to follow public health guidelines, masks have been an adjustment. They can be hot and uncomfortable. They impede communication and cover identifying features in a way that gloves do not. They feel, well, weird."
Governor Doug Ducey has resisted pressure to make masks mandatory across all of Arizona, but he did give cities and counties authority to put requirements in place. It turns out, no surprise, Arizonans are amongst the most resistant to wearing masks.
USA Today reports that a study by an organization called Survival at Home studying over 150,000 geotagged Twitter posts found Arizona to be a hotspot for anti-mask activity. While the City of Kingman requires face masks, they also ask that residents refrain from calling 911 over the issue.
"Compiling over 150,000 geotagged Twitter posts that referenced popular hashtags like "#nomask," "#burnyourmask," "iwillnotcomply" and others, Survival At Home was able to produce a map of the hotspots for anti-mask sentiment,” reports AZCentral.
It matters less and less, however, whether the government is requiring face masks, because retailers are making their own rules, mandating face masks to shop within their stores.
Retailer / Requirement Date
Walmart / July 20
Sam’s Club / July 20
Kroger (including Frys Food stores) / July 22
Best Buy / July 15
Starbucks / July 15
Costco / May 4