Comic Store In Your Future – Why Do People Get So Upset Over A Mask?

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics of Ankeny, Iowa, writes Comic Store In Your Future weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here. And it's time to look at masks.

Is the finish line in sight? Thankfully more and more people are getting vaccinated. New York City even reopened movie theaters. The return of normal, could it be here in a few months or pretty darn close to being like 2019 was? Will the coronavirus be in the rearview mirror?

Here in Iowa, the mask mandate by the governor was already dropped. We still have a sign stating masks are required. I have no desire to get the coronavirus so close to hopefully getting the vaccine, and I do not want others to get sick either. It is amazing how some people are getting so upset over a mask. Here is an article about mask requirements.

Comic Store In Your Future - Amazing People Get Upset Over A Mask
Spider-Man: Far From Home Image. Credit: Marvel/Disney

In this piece, the police officer pretty much sums up my thoughts. "When you are in a business, a store, or restaurant, technically, you are the guest. And as the guest, you need to follow the rules set forth by the house, entity, property owner, or whatever the case may be. And if there's a sign posted that you have to wear a mask, technically you have to wear a mask if you want to do business in there." To me, it is like the no shirt, no shoes, no service rule many businesses have.

How different will things be for businesses even after the coronavirus starts being more under control? From what little I know, I think people will want to go back to normal as soon as possible. With a little luck, restaurants, movie theaters, and all the businesses hit hard will bounce back to pre-coronavirus levels.

Hopefully, there will be less hate. Calling the coronavirus the "Chinese Virus," "Wuhan Virus," or posting "Chinese Pandemic" in all caps is not helpful in any way. People have enough in their lives to deal with without others needlessly saying such things.

I know people that have gotten the coronavirus, people that currently have it, and of course, I am hoping for the best for them.

My store and I have been very fortunate. I was quarantined early on when the Iowa mandatory closings shut us down. My test result came back negative, and I was never so happy in my life to "fail" a test. I did wonder if we would be able to reopen after the shutdown. Thoughts of how long this will last kept going through my head. I was amazed at how easy it was to get a PPP loan the first time. I also showed I was not that good of a business person by deciding not to go through with a PPP loan. I was naïve. When it asked online how much money I needed, I had no idea how long we would be closed, so I was worried I would ask for too much. I chickened out and thought at least this way someone else who needs the money more might get it. Little did I know how big organizations would take advantage. It became public. The Lakers basketball team got 4.6 million; they were estimated to be worth 4 billion when they received the money. I guess it was easy to get money. My accountant let me know I should have called him at the time. I just thought that phone call would have most likely cost me $50 to $100 dollars. In the second round of PPP, I was given exact numbers, though I still did not take them. We are profitable, so I figured no need to.

What does the future hold? Odds are some things are forever changed. Businesses such as Family Video are sadly history. With no new movies coming out, there was nothing new to rent.

For us, what may change the most in the future is gaming in the store. Our Magic the Gathering sales showed no decrease without having Magic gaming in-store. Without having to staff gaming, it actually saved us money and time. We now have three other gaming stores in town; two opened in the last few months. I would rather keep selling and making more money than holding Magic gaming events. Odds are we will have Friday Night Magic return, and that will be it for Magic. Heroclix in-store gaming was always far more profitable, so we will have it return also. Other than that, I see no reason for any other gaming. Over the years, we had most likely had too much Magic gaming and lost sales because we should have been focused on sales. We make more money selling material and should focus on selling. Though with everything being uncharted territory, maybe we will have gamers willing to spend money to make it far more worth our time than before.

As always, stay safe, everyone.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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