A female bus driver was beaten by a man with a two by four over mask requirements last week in Lubbock. The man caused over $2500 in damage to the bus, and left her bleeding from the head. This is just one of many incidents, some turning deadly, across the nation related to businesses pushing the issue of wearing masks.

Even though Texas Governor Greg Abbott has mandated a mask order for most counties in the state, some citizens are seeing it as a degradation of their rights. Statements like "It's a muzzle not a mask" are dividing us, playing right into the hands of those who are using the opportunity to further their own causes.

The mask order from the state doesn't have any significance until you are faced with a business or institution that requires them. Since the rise of chain stores in Deep East Texas and the fall of local retail, once you go into a business, you are forced to comply with rules from their, possibly far off, headquarters. Now more chain stores are moving from asking politely, to not letting customers shop, barring actual special circumstances, without a mask.

In Deep East Texas, mask requirements for the following stores are in effect now. Best Buy, Walmart, Sam's Club, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Home Depot, and Lowe's. Target is to follow at the end of the month. Going into a private business is not a right, you are only there because they allow it. So will you wear a mask, or shop somewhere else?

There are options. You could support a local hardware store, grocery store, or coffee house that has been less vocal about the enforcement of masks. These local retailers have some policy I am sure, but so far they aren't sending out press releases. Curbside pickup, is also an option. At at home delivery works for some, but the extra cost makes it a deal breaker for others.

Would you pay more and support a local businesses if they didn't enforce masks? It's a question you will have to ask yourself in the coming days. Especially if you plan on going in public without a mask.

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