Why Whole Foods' New Free Mask Policy Is So Important

All grocery stores and other essential businesses still open to the general public would, of course, like for their patrons to wear masks or other face coverings for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some, such as Costco, have even made this mandatory. While masks may not necessarily protect us from infection, they will, at least, keep our germs from spreading to others, so a grocery store where everyone is masked is going to be a safer environment for shoppers and workers alike.

The problem with such a policy, however, lies in the fact that not everyone owns or can make a mask, and even those who do might not always remember to bring them along. With reusable shopping bags, if you've somehow managed to (once again) leave these all at home, then even bag-free retailers like Aldi have some sort of bags they can sell you, but if you've forgotten to bring a mask, scarf, or bandana on a quick stop off at the grocery to pick up a quick gallon of milk, it's going to be a major source of frustration if you can't even get in the door to buy something that could be used in a pinch (assuming your grocer even sells such items).

Luckily, one retailer has anticipated our occasional unpreparedness, and has taken steps to assure that no matter how forgetful we are, we can all still be safe shoppers — thank you, Whole Foods!

How the Whole Foods free mask policy will benefit everybody

As Whole Foods' adoptive parent company Amazon announced on its blog, they have joined other retailers in requesting that all customers shopping at their stores wear face masks to ensure the safety of team members and fellow shoppers. What's more, they've gone above and beyond what other retailers are offering by actually providing disposable masks that will be distributed free of charge at the entrance to every store for shoppers who do not have their own masks. A simple, and yet brilliant, idea, and one we hope other retailers will follow suit in adopting ASAP.

If you think about it, it's a win for everyone. Not only will forgetful shoppers still be able to shop, and store workers be that much safer for having such precautions in place, but it will also likely increase traffic for the stores themselves. So much more convenient just being able to head out to the store to shop without having to worry if you've brought all of the necessary equipment and paraphernalia — knowing that whatever you need, masks included, that specific store will be able to supply once you arrive. Well played, Whole Foods. 

As a special thank you, we're going to so an entire article without once referring to you as Whole Paycheck... oops! Well, maybe just that once. But as far as your commitment to worker and shopper safety goes, you're totally worth the paycheck, and then some.