• Gina Rullo

Asking for a friend, is it so hard to follow the rules?


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have instituted new rules (and some were government mandates) such as wearing masks. (Courtesy Photo)

I was in a regional business shopping not so long ago. They had a weird way of running their cash register lines. I didn’t really like the flow but I followed the business’s rules since it was requested of me as a customer.


When a business asks me not to use a credit card for a purchase under $10, I oblige. It is their rule.


Many restaurants ask you to “please wait to be seated.” And you know what, I do.


Drinks now come without a straw unless you ask for one. So if I need one, I ask for one.


It is not that hard generally.


It can be annoying.


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have instituted new rules (and some were government mandates).


Look, no adult likes wearing a mask. But if a business asks me to, then I do. It is that simple.


This is not about government mandates on private businesses or school children wearing masks. This is simply about businesses asking for people to wear masks at certain points or all the way through this pandemic. My thoughts on school masks can be a series of columns.


I equate it with wearing shoes in a business. Remember the signs: “No shoes, no shirt, no service.”


So do I need to hear you whine that your constitutional rights are being trampled when you are asked to wear a mask in a business? No, I don’t.


If you do not like the rules, then don’t go to that business.


Now where things get tricky are industries like airlines which are overseen by the government and therefore have government mandates that masks have to be worn.


According to a Washington Post article from January 20, “The Federal Aviation Administration said it received 5,981 reports of unruly passengers, 4,290 of which were mask-related last year. As of Tuesday, the number this year had reached 151 cases, with 92 related to masks.”


But let’s not forget we cannot bring liquids on a plane. We have to follow TSA rules, “Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.”


So instead of bringing our own drink onto a plane, we have to pay exorbitant rates for a beverage past the checkpoint. And we have to find travel size or buy reusable plastic containers for our favorite shampoos, lotions, creams, perfumes, etc.


Have we had protests about this issue like we have for masks?


I don’t think so.


How about the very unhygienic way passengers have to take off their shoes and walk through a scanner?


It is so gross. It has an ick factor of 1,000. How is there not a better way?


And we do all this to protect our fellow passengers and to show we are not a cause of harm to them.


It is kind of the same thing with a mask.


We are supposedly wearing the mask to protect fellow passengers.


It should not come as a surprise to those on a plane that masks are required. I am pretty sure it is told to flyers when tickets are purchased, there are signs, posts on social media and countless broadcasts.


So why two years into this pandemic, are people having hissy fits about wearing a mask on a plane?


It is just shocking that people feel they can get away with being an entitled jerk.


I will repeat it again. No one likes wearing a mask. And there are reasonable questions about the effectiveness of masks.


But if you want to go to the Bahamas you have two choices, plane or boat.


You cannot drive there and you cannot walk there. So you will need to board something where other people will be.


Temper tantrums are allowed for toddlers, not for grown adults who say they don’t like being told what to do. Do these hysterical people really think they will change the airlines rules? Adult temper tantrums are so off-putting. The nation has enough of that behavior with out elected officials.


We are told what to do all the time. No one likes it.


We are told when to pay taxes, when to vote, when to put our trash on the curb, when to cut our lawns (fines if it gets overgrown). We are governed by rules.


So sit down, put on your mask, be quiet or stay home.


We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Take a road trip if wearing a mask is too hard for you. There are so many wonderful places you can visit by car. But don’t ruin everyone else’s day with your childish behavior because you are inconvenienced by a mask.



Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette and won two awards for investigative journalism in 2021.