Dec. 6, 2021
Whether they enforce – or flout – Erie County's mask mandate, businesses draw public ire
On Nov. 23, Jack Rabbit, the multifaceted tavern and live music spot on Elmwood Avenue, announced it would begin requiring all patrons to show proof they are vaccinated against Covid-19. Jack Rabbit's owners made the move, following Erie County's newly announced mask mandate, because it would allow customers and performers alike to go without face masks.
Some embraced the venue's decision.
"Awesome! It will be nice to have a place to go where I know the crowd is as safe as can be in these times," one supporter wrote on Jack Rabbit's Facebook page.
"I have never been to you but I am going to find your bar and go now. Thank you for doing the right thing," echoed another.
Others reacted with scorn.
"Gestapo," wrote one critic, referring to Nazi Germany's official secret police force.
"I'll enjoy walking by and seeing your business closed," vowed another. "And any other that bows to this scamdemic instead of rising up for bodily autonomy for all people."
With Erie County imposing the latest in a series of health restrictions on some public-facing businesses in an attempt to limit the virus' spread, small business owners say they're once again caught between people who accept or decry the regulations.
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The Editorial Board: As infections spread, town officials who oppose requirement make matters worse: "That wrongheaded approach has already helped to extend the pandemic and is all but guaranteed to make it last even longer. So, please: Do your part. Put on a mask," writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more