It’s possible. Photo: ollo/Getty Images

Whether you’re going on your bi-monthly grocery run, picking up takeout from a restaurant, or passing your corner store, you’ve likely seen the signs on the doors of local businesses: “No masks, no service.” It’s a perfectly sensible approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but not everyone gets the message. Owners and customers alike have reportedly balked at mask regulations inside the bars and restaurants that have begun to reopen. (With some owners going so far as to ban any customers who do wear masks.) For anyone who’s struggling to grasp the need for masks in public spaces, or who simply has questions about how these face coverings are even supposed to work, Grub Street has put together this useful FAQ.

I don’t want to wear a mask.
Is that a question?

No. I just don’t want to.
The Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of face masks, to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which as of this week has killed more than 100,000 Americans.

This has gone on for too long. I feel safe enough! It’s almost summer! Americans should be able to live their lives!
So should the people who will take your orders and bus your tables. Restaurant workers are vulnerable, and many aren’t financially able to stop working. Wearing a mask helps them.

Can’t pound a beer if you’re wearing a mask! 
Move it aside briefly, then take a sip or a bite or whatever. This is mostly just about being respectful of other people.

What if the owner of my favorite bar, No Beer Left Behind — shout to my bartender Dennis, always pouring extra shots — says I won’t be served if I wear a mask?
Then maybe spend your money at a business where the owner at least makes a show of caring about her or his employees?

What if I wear the mask to the bar, but not in the bar?
Why would you do that?

What if I wear a mask, but I do that thing where I just let it dangle down by my chin, instead of actually covering my nose and mouth?
That defeats the entire purpose of the mask in the first place, Brett.

Isn’t this really about civil rights? If I don’t want to wear a mask, that’s my freedom of expression.
No it isn’t. Other people — whether they work at chains, in bars or restaurants, at grocery stores, whatever — should not have to sacrifice their wellbeing for some stupid culture-war distraction.

If I have to wear a mask to a restaurant, I might as well just stay home and eat there.
That is an excellent idea.