Is it right or safe to police others about wearing a mask and social distancing?

What do you do when someone near you isn't following the pandemic recommendations set by health officials? 

Do you say something and is that a safe thing to do? 

"I think tensions are high and it’s a very sensitive topic," said Lisa Richey. She’s the founder of the American Academy of Etiquette. Recently several incidents involving someone asking another person to put on a mask or give them space went dangerously wrong.

At Sesame Place customers assaulted a 17-year-old employee who asked them to put on a mask. Richey says the key is your approach starting with giving people the benefit of the doubt and being polite. Maybe they're not aware of their space or forgot the mask. 

"Most likely they think they have it on and they don’t.” Richey says tone of voice is also important because if you're wearing a mask it's hard to read your facial expressions. 

"You can smile because that's going to send out a certain type of energy and your eyes are going to smile but it actually is the tone of your voice. Also your body language. Have good posture and maybe put your hands down by your side," said Richey.  

In another incident at a Staples in New Jersey a customer was hospitalized after being pushed to the ground from asking another customer standing next to her to put on a mask. 

"It might be a case where you simply have to walk away and social distance. Take care of yourself. If it's exiting a train and getting on another one you need to take that. You need to make that choice," said Richey. 


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