Editorials, Opinion

Golden Rule for businesses — the COVID-19 remix

The Golden Rule for businesses, COVID-remix: Treat other businesses’ employees the way you would want other businesses to treat your employees.

The lists have been circulating on social media of local businesses where an employee or customer has tested positive for COVID-19. We respect the public’s right to know where potential exposures could have occurred. We respect the public’s right to avoid that business until they feel confident they can patronize the establishment safely. We applaud each and every business that has been open and transparent about positive cases in their facilities, and we especially appreciate the businesses that have shared plans regarding closing, cleaning, testing and/or reopening. It takes a lot of courage for a business to advertise that an infected person (who probably didn’t know it) had been in their facility. We are grateful for the care they are showing our community by being open and honest and taking measures to keep us safe.

So where are we going with this “Golden Rule for businesses” thing? Remember when Sundale had its COVID-19 cases? At the beginning, back in March, Sundale employees were barred from other businesses. A Sundale staff member who was wearing a shirt with the Sundale logo was asked to leave a pharmacy. The spouses and family members of Sundale employees were asked to leave their own workplaces. Vendors refused to bring supplies to the facility, despite the no-contact procedures in place.

(By the way, shout out and congrats to Sundale Rehabilitation and Long-term Care for keeping the coronavirus under control and being COVID-free for at least a month.)

What we are asking of businesses — and of individuals — is not to treat the employees of a COVID-positive business like pariahs. These employees are still people and they still need the same things all the rest of us do, like groceries and paper products and other essentials.

Business owners/managers: Take a moment to envision that your business is the next one to find out someone with COVID-19 was in your establishment. Now imagine your employees coming to you, saying they were asked to leave or barred from entering another business. Or your significant other or family member comes home and says they aren’t allowed to go back to work because your business was exposed to the coronavirus.

If that scenario bothers you, then don’t treat other businesses’ employees that way.

Masks are mandatory now. As a business owner/manager, you now have the right to enforce mask wearing. You have control over cleaning/sanitizing procedures. You have ways to protect yourself, your employees and your facility. But with the way outbreaks are popping up all over the county, the state, even the country, any and all businesses are susceptible to the coronavirus. Please, treat other businesses’ employees the way you would want other businesses to treat your employees.

We’re all just trying to make it through this pandemic. Let’s take care of each other as best we can.