Maskless Shopping Experience #1 – Ukiah

On Saturday, November 27th seventeen local patriots came together in an empty parking lot to decide what Ukiah stores they wanted to shop mask-less at. What a strange event to have to gather for don’t you think? Almost two years ago, before all this craziness started, nobody would have thought twice for the need to cover their faces with pieces of cloth in order to enter places of business to buy their goods. Or meet together in a form of civil protest to buy some groceries with uncovered faces. Yet here we are, over 100 weeks passed the “two weeks to slow the spread” narrative and we are still having to cover our faces in order to go in and buy a gallon of milk. Seems quite silly when you stop to think about it. If there is a virus floating around in the air how is a bandana, scarf, neck gator, or surgical mask truly supposed to stop it? We know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is 0.12 micrometers in diameter (a micrometer is one one-thousandth of a millimeter) and holes in a cloth mask are between 5 to 200 micrometers in diameter. We also know that asymptomatic transmission is just about nonexistent. In other words, if you aren’t sick, you don’t have the virus.

Yet here we are, almost two years later, all still obediently wearing our masks to go into local Mendocino County stores to buy our goods. Constantly touching our masks with our dirty fingers as they slip down past our noses to readjust them. Transferring who knows what types of nasty germs and bacteria as we do so. Sneezing, coughing, and breathing recirculated carbon dioxide from our lungs back into our bodies. Many times placing these masks, once we are done using them, into our pockets or purses for the next time we need them. YUCK! These masks are nothing more than a talisman for people to feel “safe”, fit into the new “accepted normal”, and feel like they are one with this new societal norm. They are more a fashion icon with all the patterns and colors you see people wearing. Who cares about the actual science behind the silliness of wearing a mask to stop a virus 100s of times smaller than the weaves of the mask, let alone our innate amazing immune systems that are there to protect us from the nasties in our world? It seems like it is more important for people to feel like they are part of the herd of mask wearers than to be free thinkers and breathers.

Now back to our seventeen local patriots, we came together with the goal of making a point to the businesses and shoppers in Mendocino County that we are fed up with being told that we must cover our faces and constrict our breathing. Not only is it highly illogical to do so, but it is illegal as well. Check out all the laws on the books that our local business have been and continue to violate regarding enforcing masks in order to shop.

Mandates are not laws, no business can enforce an individual to wear a face mask, a medical device, in order to enter into their business. No governor can make a law. No mayor can make a law. No health officer can make a law. No business owner can make a law. In the words of Peggy Hall, The Healthy American.

There is no law that requires a person to wear a mask. In fact, you don’t have to wear a mask if you don’t want to. There is no law of this market that requires you to wear a mask. The governor or health officer cannot require you to wear a mask. The governor cannot require you to enforce distancing, plexiglass, a reduction in patrons, or tell you that you have to serve indoors or outdoors. There is no authority for the health officer or governor to tell you how to operate your business, as long as you are not in violation of any actual regulations “on the books.” And there is no regulation on the books regarding masks, distancing, or modifying your business operations. 

And you cannot require anyone to wear a mask. You do not have the power or authority over another person to tell them to wear a mask, which covers their only two air passages for breathing. It is illegal to force someone to obstruct their breathing. That is a type of attempted suffocation, and it is illegal conduct, because it harms another person. Source:

We decided to shop at three different stores, Friedman Brothers, Michael’s, and The Co-Op. Friedman Brothers was very laid back to our free-breathing group. They initially asked if any of us had a mask as we entered the store. One of the employees came up to a member of our group and said it was fine that we were shopping mask-less but that we would need an employee to walk with us. Not sure who created this policy and how it helps, but okay, we gained a new friend to walk around the store with us. We all peacefully went about the store shopping for the items we needed, stood in line, and checked out without any further issues. The manager was even interested in our movement and asked for our postcard of info so he could learn more. Great experience just the way any normal shopping should go at a local business. Yay Friedman Brothers!
Our next stop was Michael’s Craft store. Upon entering the store we received numerous wide-eyed looks from concerned employees that a group of unmasked shoppers entered the vicinity. We calmly and peacefully went about our shopping picking out the items we would like to purchase. We were quickly stopped by the floor manager who stated very sternly that we all needed to be wearing masks and that we were violating store policy. She refused to answer any questions we had regarding certain products and their locations and told us that we would not be allowed to check out any items at the front.

The young teenage clerks in the store, huddled together in the back wall away from our mask-less group, fear and anger in their eyes, unwilling to smile or say hello when we greeted them with friendly smiles and waves. It was almost like they were scared we would give them cooties if we came too close!

As we all made our way to the checkout stand up front, all four checkout locations turned their lights off and refused to ring us up, talk to us, or even look us in the eye. All were very uncomfortable with this unprecedented experience of having to deal with customers who showed their faces during the checkout process. The cops were promptly called and within ten minutes there were five cop cars in front of Michaels waiting to confront our group of free-air breathing shoppers who just wanted to buy some art supplies without the confines of a face diaper wrapped around our faces. We were asked to leave our items and step outside to speak with the officers who responded to the call.

The civil and polite discussion we had with the three officers and two community service members was informative and productive. Both parties conducted themselves with respect and we voiced our concerns, views, and frustrations regarding the mask mandates. We showed them the law citations that these businesses were violating and discussed our rights to shopping mask-free, especially when numerous members of our group had medical exemptions with doctor’s notes as to why they could not wear a mask. Again please see the laws this business was violating here. The officers stated that the business had a right to refuse us service and that we were trespassing, we respectfully argued that this was breaking the law and we had every right to be in there shopping mask-free based off the laws we gave them to look at. The response of the officers was to take it up with the county health officer and public officials. They respected our right to peacefully protest and we told them we were not finished shopping in town and that we would most likely see them again very soon. After our conversation, both officers and our group left without further incident.

Our third and final stop was Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, the health food store that has been one of the strictest, militant, zero exemption, wear your mask or else, type of store in Ukiah. The CO- Op boasts on their website that they, “love our community and work every day to be a leader in creating a vibrant, healthy Ukiah.” They also state that their, “doors are open to everyone.” Many of our 17 mask-less shoppers have been life-long customers of The Co-Op yet when we entered with uncovered faces we were greeted with sneers, frowns, cold looks, and numerous snide comments as we calmly walked through the store browsing the products on the shelves. One woman even shouted at us that she, “hoped we all died from Covid.” We were confronted numerously by many angry employees that we needed to be wearing masks and that we were not allowed to be in the store. All because we did not conform to the societal norm of covering our airways with a piece of cloth. It felt very reminiscent of the 1950s when black people walked into a “whites only” business looking to be served and turned away. 

As we stood in line to buy our items, the clerks, with hatred in their eyes, told us that if we wanted to shop mask-less we should go to stores that didn’t care about wearing masks such as Safeway. One employee even stated that Safeway is where she goes to shop so she does not have to wear a mask. That we were not allowed to be shopping here if we refused to cover our faces (see footage). Our hand carts were physically taken from us by the angry employees multiple times and we were refused the right to check out our items at the checkout stands. One of our mask-less shoppers, with a valid, doctor signed medical exemption to wearing a mask, was told “No Exemptions”. That to me is a clear violation of her civil rights and discrimination by violating Civil Code 51b

All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

One of our mask-less shoppers, after her cart was taken from her, wanted to buy a candy bar so she waited in line again to be checked out. Again, her candy bar was taken from her when she placed it on the checkout strip. She then picked up another candy bar and attempted to check out again, same thing, candy bar taken, refusal to let her pay.

The cops were then called on our group and after a few minutes one of the same officers who spoke to us at Michael’s Craft store walked into The Co-Op to speak with us again. We waved and smiled at him and he waved back. The officer spoke to one of the employees about this “incident” and we were asked to step outside to speak with the officer. As we were peacefully leaving the store, all of the employees and many of the shoppers started clapping their hands and showed their happiness when we said we would never come back to shop in their store. 

Many lifelong customers who have been patronizing this local business for years were shown hostility, resentment, and anger all for standing up to their right to choose whether they wanted to wear a medical device or not and breathe freely while shopping for their groceries. Because we did not look like them by wrapping a piece of dirty cloth around our faces we were treated with discrimination and refused service. Is this a place that one would be proud to call a pillar of our community? Is this a business where we want to support with our loyalties and wallets? How crazy a world we live in where one little piece of cloth, if we wear it or not, is all it comes down to to be treated with dignity, respect, and with a smile versus anger, resentment and withholding of services if we decide not to? 

What makes it even more comical is thirty feet away from where this incident took place is the food court where one can order their food and sit mask-free to eat their meal. Apparently the virus will take a break and not bother anyone eating their vegan salad bowls and drink their smoothies in the next aisle over. The stupidity and lack of common sense is incredibly palpable, but hey, common sense has been eradicated this year just like the flu. It certainly feels like we are back to the segregation of the 1950s.

I implore any person reading this letter to really stop and think about how our society is behaving towards one another over something as stupid as a face covering to enter a store. After almost two years, the “science” is clear that face masks do not stop the spread of a virus. It even states so on the box of medical masks, “This product is an ear loop mask. This product is not a respirator and will not provide any protection against covid-19 (coronavirus) or other viruses or contaminants.” Let alone the home-made cloth masks that most people wear. 

Whatever happened to the idea of “love thy neighbor?” It is scary to see how far humanity has fallen in the face of fear. I truly hope that humanity wakes up to the stupidity that has befallen us before it is too late. I believe that there will come a time in our future that we will look back at this time in history and shake our head in disbelief. Just like the horrific segregation that people practiced in the 1950s, we will look back in shame at how we treated our fellow human beings.

P.S. If anyone is interested and feeling brave to go against the “approved norm”, we will be having another mask-less shopping day on December 11th at 2pm. We will be meeting at the Hanger 39 parking lot and deciding which businesses we would like to patronage. What a powerful message it would show if we had double or even triple our original seventeen member group this next time around! Hope to see you there!

P.P.S Here is a report full of website links, resources, studies, and facts on Covid-19, mask studies, alternative treatments, exemption templates, the law, and much more if anyone would like to study up!

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