There has been considerable noise on social media recently when some retailers said they would welcome anyone to their business, vaxxed or unvaxxed. It became heated with plenty of yelling and abuse.
Vaccination is a vexed (sorry) issue. You’re damned if you speak up and damned if you do not. We became drawn into it with retailers asking what we thought, given or reach across a diverse group of retail settings.
We so understand retailers say they welcome anyone as it presents as inclusive. We can also understand retailers saying they prefer shoppers to be vaccinated, especially if they have family and loved-ones who for some reason cannot currently be vaccinated.
While we are keen on fence-sitting, we think with this issue retailers, especially local small business retailers are better off saying nothing because saying something will attract fringe-dwellers and these folks can be demanding, nasty and distracting. We know a retailer who said anyone is welcome and then found tribes of fringe dwellers on their social media doorstep.
By all means have a view for yourself and those who work in the business as it is your workplace and you have obligations. However, we don’t see how that can extend to customers when the government itself does not have a view.
For sure we want everyone who can to be vaccinated, and urgently. If we were in government with the authority, we would try and find a way to force that, for the health and safety of the community. We’d tie it to some funding or benefit, as happens already in child care. But, we are not in government and owning a shop does not give me the right to dictate what my customers believe, no matter how much we see our shop as our little kingdom.
So, for us here in our POS software company, we will have our wish and hope that everyone who can gets vaccinated while, at the same time, serving anyone who comes here for service. And, while doing this, our shops and business locations will remain clean, happy and as Covid safe as possible with masks, hand sanitiser, free face masks and the other steps in place that have kept us safe and trading so far.
Covid has a long long way to go we think. This vaxxed and unvaxxed can shop here pitch is another pot-hole on the road that, when we look back on it, will be a small distraction.