As the United States crosses 700,000 COVID deaths, prominent American corporations have ceded store safety to anti-mask shoppers, facilitating the spread of COVID in communities. In response, Nexus Marketing wrote the following letter to Target Corporation, delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org. Target responded by calling us to inquire if we had any further questions and then sending a customer service survey.
Following is the letter we sent to Target. We will update this post with answers from Target if or when the company provides answers.
I took a set of photos of reckless behavior on Saturday at the Target location at 6280 N Eagle Rd, Boise, ID 83713. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eiyu3mky5fb35nu/AAAAkcQ3e7rMc6Pi2XDQixZta?dl=0
After reviewing these photos, will Target please answer the following five questions? I am publishing a story on Monday, and would like to include your comments.
1) Why is Target not following OSHA’s guidance to require people to wear face coverings indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission?
- OSHA guidelines state that workplaces should: “Suggest or require […] that all customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings in public, indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.”
- The guidelines also state: “Fully vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high transmission should be required to wear face coverings inside (or other appropriate PPE and respiratory protection) as well.”
2) Does Target have a civic responsibility to ensure that children in your stores are safe from known hazards, including the coronavirus?
- A quarter million children are getting sick every week, per the American Academy of Pediatrics. Over 5.5 million children have been infected. Studies show that roughly half may experience long-term side effects that prevent them from engaging in normal activities. Children are reporting profound brain fog, racing hearts, lasting fatigue, and loss of taste and smell.
- 540 children are reported to have been killed in the US, the equivalent of 27 Sandy Hook mass shootings.
- Schools are shutting down again, damaging children’s ability to learn, especially for kids who do not have a good internet connection or families who are able or willing to support their education online.
- Many children who don’t wear masks in stores also don’t wear masks in schools that permit or tolerate masklessness. Recently, a teacher spread COVID to 29 people at her school, including half of her class of masked students. Incidents like this prove that one reckless individual can ruin an entire class’ defenses. As the NIH Director stated, masked students are effectively “sitting ducks”, vulnerable to their unmasked classmates’ recklessness and their classmates’ parents’ recklessness, which Target permits in its stores.
3) The sign posted out front of our local Target states: “Face coverings are strongly recommended for guests who are not fully vaccinated.”
Based on the number of customers who walk by this sign not wearing masks, it does not appear that Target’s message is effective. There seem to be 3 issues:
- The message is unclear. A reasonable person could conclude that masks are not recommended for guests who are fully vaccinated, which directly contradicts CDC guidelines that have been in place for the last 3 months.
- The message is small. It’s about 1/5 the font size of Target’s other messages competing for customers’ attention at entrances such as “We’re hiring” and “Car Seat Trade-in”.
- The message is not impactful. There is no indication of the stakes for other shoppers and community members.
Will Target replace the store’s problematic sign with a clearer, bigger, and more impactful message? For example:
- My mask protects you. Your mask protects me. Target requires all customers at this location to wear a mask, per CDC guidelines.
- No mask, no service.
4) The Target manager to whom I spoke (Tiffany at the Target location at 6280 N Eagle Rd, Boise, ID) said the store can’t force people to wear masks.
All over the United States, bars employ security to keep people out who do not meet admission requirements; thousands of other businesses this year have effectively barred maskless customers from entering their premises. What is stopping Target from forcing customers to wear masks?
I understand that government policies can help. This summer, New South Wales increased fines from $200 to $500 for people not properly wearing a face covering in public, and this policy has ensured near universal compliance. Has Target lobbied local, state and federal lawmakers to institute safety fines in the states where Target operates? What has Target advocated for so far?
5) The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare has activated crisis standards of care. Cancer surgeries have been postponed. Healthcare workers cannot properly monitor high-risk patients. States like Idaho that oppose mask or vaccine mandates are straining other states’ healthcare systems. Angry customers are assaulting and threatening to murder healthcare workers who are not able to provide treatments they want.
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen has said: “Please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread. […] The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”
Does Target have a moral obligation to use all options available to the corporation to ensure your stores operate safely and that your operations do not inflict illness and death on communities in crisis, including the options to shut down retail locations where customers are not complying with CDC guidelines, and the option to hire local security guards to post at store entrances to enforce mask compliance?