face masks

Wearing Face Coverings Could Help Small Businesses Survive

Goldman Sachs estimates that a national mask mandate could slash infections and save the economy 5%

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Due to the coronavirus, many business owners have changed the way they operate. For example, Gioia’s Room Boutique, in Hillcrest, has yet to fully reopen to customers.

“I have been doing one-on-one styling appointments,” said boutique owner Gioia Marino. “We are both masked, the store is locked, and It’s not open to regular foot traffic, and I have hand sanitizer, fabric disinfectant spray so when they try things, on I spray it and then put them in a little quarantine for a while.”

Since May 1, San Diego County has been under a face-covering rule. The state of California made it mandatory June 18.

Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, who specializes in ear, nose and throat conditions, said that wearing masks indoors could help retailers stay open for business.

“It is in the indoor spaces that transmission of any infection is going to occur more frequently,” Schalch Lepe said.

A chief economist with Goldman Sachs said this week that a national mandate to wear facial coverings would have a big impact on the economy.  Schalch Lepe said that the sooner people adapt to wearing them, the better it will be.

“We have to learn to accept that this type of viral outbreak has to change the way we do things if we want to prevent this from happening again or from just lasting for, you know, an unbelievably long amount of time," Schalch Lepe said. "That, of course, is going to have a huge impact on our economy.”

As a small business owner, Marino said it’s up to her to ensure that customers comply by wearing a face covering.

“I feel like here in the Hillcrest community, I have seen people walking -- not even at businesses -- masked, more so than I did even a few weeks ago, and that makes me feel good,” Marino said.

The boutique owner hopes to fully reopen by the end of the month if health guidelines allow and said she would require everyone to wear a mask. County health rules, of course, require anyone working at a business to wear a mask and encourage customers to do the same.

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