To wear a mask, or not, in Milford?

Milford. Shop owners and government workers, and the people who encounter them as the lockdown eases, negotiate some thorny territory.

| 08 Jun 2020 | 01:32

To wear a mask or not to wear a mask? With apologies to William Shakespeare, that is the question on most people’s minds. The answer varies, often depending on one’s political perspective.

There has been more than the usual invective on Facebook both criticizing those who don’t wear masks in public and denigrating those who do.

The answer remains equivocal. Krista Gromalski, the communications director for the Pike County Commissioners’ office, said, “We’re following the directives from Governor Wolf and Dr. Levine’s office. It’s not a law, it’s a strong recommendation. Visitors to county facilities are encouraged to wear masks to cover their mouths and noses, at all times while transacting essential business within County facilities.”

And yet, the sheriff’s deputies in the administration building were not wearing masks and let some visitors without masks into the lobby. (When questioned about this, the sheriff’s office did not respond to phone calls.)

“Within the borough, we require compliance with the state guidelines and are trying to help those who are having difficulty complying by providing masks, sanitation supplies and gently urging compliance,” said Milford Mayor Sean Strub.

Take off that mask

The Old Mill Tactical Outfitter, a gun shop in the Upper Mill, answered the question by posting a sign in their window saying, “Do not enter this store wearing a mask! Bad Idea!”

The owner, Bob Kraus, said the sign refers to gun store safety, and not COVID 19. The gun store at the Pickerel Inn was recently robbed and, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the store owner can decide, based on his judgment at the time, who gets to enter the store and who gets to buy a gun.

Kraus said he posted the sign on the door after he recently encountered three people with New York plates wearing face masks, tinted ski goggles, and bandannas. Since 90 percent of his customers are local and he did not know them, he had to refuse them, he said.

“In the case of people buying a gun, I need to see the expression on their faces,” he said.

Milford’s Daily Grind, a coffee shop that recently opened in the Lumberyard, has garnered some negative comments, even vitriol, on Facebook because the owner, Sheena Finamore, said, “We cannot require employees to wear masks for eight hours a day breathing in carbon dioxide, not oxygen, but if a customer is wearing a mask, we will absolutely put on a mask for them. We are not refusing to wear masks. We absolutely care for everyone’s health and respect everyone’s opinion and choice on the matter.”

Finamore and her husband worked hard for 10 years saving money to open the shop, which has been their dream. They serve a large variety of coffees, teas, smoothies, scones, muffins, and cookies. There is a walk-up window and a drive-through open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; and Saturday and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Everyone has a responsibility to research and make educated decisions, especially with regard to their own health,” said Finamore. “This is by no means political. The last thing I want right now is more division.”

Actually, many of her customers have told her, “I saw the negativity on Facebook and I came to support you.”

One thing everyone agrees on, is the white chocolate caramel frappe is to die for.

“In the case of people buying a gun, I need to see the expression on their faces.” --Bob Kraus, The Old Mill Tactical Outfitter