This week’s installation of What Really Mattered reminds us that, yes, the thing that really mattered last week was the renewed focus on mask-wearing as the pandemic surges and Thanksgiving beckons. Specifically, here in North Carolina, Governor Cooper ramped up the stakes with an Executive Order issued Monday. The Order revises previous ones related to masks and essentially mandates that everyone everywhere wear a mask indoors unless you are at home with your household members or are “actively” eating or drinking in a restaurant or a “brewery, winery or distillery” (hmmm, 2020–be at home with the kids or at a distillery, . . . home with kids or distillery?–let me think). There are a very few other exceptions; skip to page 6 after all the WHEREASes in the Order linked above.
To drive the point home to HR, the big takeaway is that all workers and all guests inside any facility need to wear masks. There is no exception to mask-wearing simply because people in the same large space are six feet apart. Two people at opposite ends of a large conference table? Mask-up now, regardless of being six feet away.
While we do not expect police raids, the new Order does give law enforcement the ability to enforce mask-wearing, with violations punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor. A first-offense conviction starts off with a penalty of one day of community service.
So, let’s get on board, wear those masks, sacrifice our preferences for Thanksgiving visits, force our kids to adopt strict practices that will make them complain, and ask what we can do for the sick and needy. It really matters.