So my husband and I spent a lot of money in REI last year, bought 2 very expensive e-bikes. We had a bonus to spend from our membership and went to buy stuff over a month after our Governor ended the mask mandate. I was immediately accosted by the manager. He was nice and I explained that I have a medical condition and am not allowed to wear masks. He told me to shop online, so I explained I need to try things on. He told me someone will help and I asked him to please send out everything in my size to my motor home in the parking lot. He said he could not and I would have to wear the mask or leave.
We are in Texas, the land of the free, or used to be until liberal companies moved here. Masks are deadly - they cause all sorts of problems including bacterial pneumonia, which is why I can’t wear them. The law allows for accommodations, but REI’s position is we are private and then stick out their tongues. He refused to make any accommodation for me except shop online, which is not an option for me. I want to see the available stock.
Why is there no conversation? Why does a liberal store have to jump to tyranny? That is what it is, forcing masks when the law allows no mask. So here is my conversation. I have been an RN for almost 50 years and I know how to keep people safe. I am not sick. Covid is not a dangerous illness, no worse than a cold. I will never spend another penny in your stores and will tell everyone I know that you are bullies, albeit polite bullies. Thank you for nothing, tyrants. Never again!
I have visited my local REI a couple of times recently and I wore a mask when inside the store, just as I have in any retail establishment in California. REI personnel were friendly and helpful, gear was available, my "liberties" were not infringed, and life was nearly normal. I will continue to wear a mask when going to REI or patronizing other establishments. It is simply a public health measure.
These days , it is not surprising that this pandemic has taken on political overtones. This distracts from the real issues and hinders working out effective solutions.
I must say i was surprised that acommuting bike had to go to the shop to replace a flat tire. i commuted by bike for about thirty years, 20 to10vmiles round trip, and I soon found out that changing a flat was a routine, though happily infrequent, occurrence. Just a necessary skill.