The Reason Everyone Is Talking About This Costco Mask Confrontation

Yesterday, a viral video circulated in which Ricky Schroder, a child actor best known for debuting in "The Champ" and starring in the sitcom "Silver Spoons" (via IMDb) berated a Costco employee who attempted to enforce the state and county's mask policy.

In the video, as TODAY reports, Schroder asks, "Why aren't you letting me in?" The worker tries to explain that although the CDC has relaxed the guidelines for vaccinated people, the county of Los Angeles and state of California has not loosened their mandate, meaning that vaccinated people still need to wear their masks within the store. This went back and forth for a bit until Schroder demanded a refund for his Costco membership, which he received.

In essence, this was no more than a new theme attached to the mask flare-ups that have been raging for the entire pandemic period, as the BBC covered in July of 2020. The next day, Schroder took to Instagram to apologize for his actions to the worker in particular and reaffirm his opposition to the mask mandates in general in a video that has since been taken down.

Industry workers saw this coming

When Trader Joe's first declared that in areas without a mask mandate, they would allow customers to enter unmasked, the decision occurred while the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) questioned the CDC's judgment.

"Millions of Americans are doing the right thing and getting vaccinated," the UFCW said in a statement. "But essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures. Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?" 

This issue, it should be stressed, is not the idea that society should move away from mask-wearing if the populace is vaccinated, but the slapdash way the CDC has issued these recommendations without either collaborating with local governments or suggesting methods to actually handle maskless customers who expect to be allowed in. Schroder did not resort to anything like the aggression or violence others have before, but the confrontation highlights the lack of coherence in our transition to a more open set of restrictions.