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People Are Now Printing Fake “Face Mask Exempt” Cards

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"Face Mask Exempt" Cards

The mask debate rages on across the country. There are two kinds of people: the ones who think wearing a mask is a simple act that paints you as empathetic to the needs and safety of others while drastically helping with the spread of COVID-19, and  the idiots who think their civil liberties are being trampled upon by putting a piece of fabric across their face. While the science and advisories about wearing masks has been inconsistent at best, it’s clear that the states that have mandated the wearing of masks, like New York, are seeing a steep decline in cases as opposed to the states that have not required them, like Florida, which is facing record new cases of COVID each day. Now, people have started printing up fake “Face Mask Exempt” cards.

Yes really. Some people are so opposed to wearing a mask that they have pulled out their laminating machines to create “Face Mask Exempt” Cards which they think grants them the right to ignore the policy of a business that requires customers to wear a mask while in their establishment. News flash: it doesn’t. Every day, we see a new viral video or story of someone who is upset about having to wear a mask somewhere, be it a Costco, a restaurant, or even a hospital. Anyone who tries to use this card from the Freedom To Breathe Agency may as well be flashing a Get Out of Jail Free card from Monopoly because they both carry the same weight. Whoever created the card didn’t even bother to use a grammar checker because “posses” means something very different thing than “poses”. The amateur Photoshopper also slapped the Department of Justice’s seal on the card for good measure, but the DOJ released a statement explaining that these cards are a total fraud and not connected to them in any way.

This is what happens when you sneeze. COVID is spread through these droplets. This is why you need to wear a mask.

While the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) does protect a person from having to disclose whatever condition they may have, it also requires employers or a business to provide reasonable accommodations to the affected individual. That doesn’t mean that a person who has (or claims to have) a condition that prevents them from wearing a mask now gets to enter a restaurant without wearing one. It simply means that the restaurant must provide “reasonable accommodations” for this person and those accommodations can be making their food available for takeout or offering curbside pickup. It also means that the restaurant can still refuse service. A restaurant is private property and they create and enforce their own policies. They have a right to say “no” to any customer, just as a customer has a right to choose to go elsewhere. It’s a two-way street and a laminated card with typos doesn’t change that street into an expressway for entitled customers.

If you’re a customer going into a restaurant and don’t want to wear a mask despite their insistence that you do, don’t bother pulling this card out of your wallet. It means nothing. You can threaten a lawsuit or say you’re never coming back or even post a negative review on Yelp, but the restaurant will always be right. Their business, their rules. If you say you can’t breathe in a mask, but you have enough oxygen to scream about your asthma for ten minutes to an 18-year-old hostess, you need a better argument. Accept the reality of the situation and either put your mask on or order your Fiesta Lime Chicken to go. Also remember that if a doctor or nurse can wear a mask for a ten-hour surgery or your server can wear one for a six-hour shift, then you can certainly wear one for the two minutes it takes you to waddle from the host stand to your booth.

If you work in a restaurant and someone tries to impress you with this laminated card of bullshit, just know that you can offer them a to-go menu and be on your way to take care of customers who are following the rules and who care about themselves and you.

Wear a mask. Stop trying so hard to think of reasons why you shouldn’t wear one and just think of the one reason you should: it helps.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.

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