Cell Phone? Check.
Mask? Oh, wait my mask... (runs back and grabs mask)
It used to be so easy for us to leave our houses and forgetting something wasn’t the end of the world. If I forgot my credit cards at home, no big deal, my phone has Apple Pay. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, it is pretty much mandatory to have your mask with you at all times. Most, if not all, establishments in NY and NJ will not allow you inside without a mask. Some places of business will provide them for you, and if they don’t, you are pretty much SOL about getting inside. I was running along the Hudson River over the weekend, and as I got closer to the park, an officer was standing there with a table in front of him. Now, where I run, many other people are running, walking, biking, as well, and some are wearing masks, some are not - I carry mine in my pocket. On this table, he had N95 masks to pass out to people going into the park, as it was a requirement in there. I initially thought, poor guy, it’s so hot out. But overall, I thought it was kind of them to hand it out to the public who didn’t have one on them. So here’s the biggest debate going on these days: to mask or not to mask? And I’m not sure if the word “debate” is the correct word, but it’s definitely a major topic of conversation anywhere you look. I’m sure many of us have seen the hundreds of videos circulating around social media from the pro-maskers to the anti-maskers, to people not being allowed inside without one, etc. etc. etc.
Well, grocery stores and shopping centers aren’t the only ones dealing with the mask situation. Dealers are as well. Depending on your local and state laws, you might have different policies than what I see around here. Being that NJ and NY have mandated mask rules, most dealers are abiding by them. Dealers follow guidelines set by the CDC and the government by adhering to social distancing guidelines and requiring their employees to wear masks. The snag that can come into play forces customers to wear masks as well when inside the dealership. There are many different ways to go about this: you can offer masks to customers who are not wearing one; you can refuse service to people who refuse to wear one (even though nobody wants to turn away business); you can work with the customer outside in the parking lot, or you can utilize technology and do everything virtually and offer to drop off/pick up service. There are many dealers out there using different options as we speak. The article listed below has some examples of what some are doing. We are all trying to navigate and conduct business in an entirely new world, and it takes time to adapt. Is it perfect? No. Will it make everyone happy? No. But we are all doing the best we can with what we got.
It’s hard. It’s hard to force people to do something they don’t want to do. In my experience, the middle ground is few and far between. There are people on both sides of the spectrum. The anti-mask people are very against it, and nothing you say or do will change their minds. The pro-mask people are for it and will call you out for not wearing one. Personally, I am in the middle. I wear a mask, and if you aren’t, and I don’t know you, I will just stay away. I take my mask off around people I am comfortable with. If I had it my way, I would want everyone to wear masks so this virus can go away, and all these countries will let us back in again! I am a traveler, and I miss traveling! Joking, not joking. On a serious note, at the end of the day, dealers don’t really want to turn away business but have to keep public health and safety of all those around them in mind. And of course, to follow the rules. In order to do that, they should be open to various and creative options to cater to all their consumers.