Natalie Wester and her husband decided to go out with their four-month-old child to Rowlett’s Hang Time, a bar and restaurant in Texas, accompanied by friends.
They were asked to take off their masks when they entered the bar. But they could not hear the instruction clearly due to the loud music and brushed it aside, Ms Wester said in a post on Facebook.
Half an hour later, a waitress told them to take off their masks for “political reasons,” Ms Wester said. She was told: “Our manager sent me over because I’m nicer than he is. And yes, this is political.”
“She [the waitress] then told me that masks are not allowed in their building, and they can make the rules because they are private business,” Ms Wester added.
The family was given the unscientific explanation that a mask doesn’t work and that it was similar to “using a chain-link fence to keep out mosquitoes, and doesn’t give people enough oxygen.”
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, if a person is not fully vaccinated and aged two or older, they should wear a mask in indoor public places.
Ms Wester said her four-month old is immunocompromised and will need to be hospitalised if he contracts the deadly viral infection. The parents choose to wear a mask whenever they’re out, “which is not too often”, she added.
The CDC says: “People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.”
“If you’ve ever been new parents, having those couple of hours out like once or twice a month is so important for your mental health,” Ms Wester told local news channel CBS DFW.
The restaurant’s owner, who identified himself as Tom, defended the anti-mask policy and claimed that it was a part of the dress code. “I have spent my money on the business, my blood sweat and tears in this business, and I don’t want masks in here,” he said, adding that those who want to wear masks are free to refuse his service.
He claimed that the “overall reaction with masks is ridiculous” in the United States right now. He said that he and his employees would continue to enforce the anti-mask rule and inform people entering his establishment to ditch the masks.
He added that he was unaware about the immunocompromised condition of Ms Wester’s son.
The incident came shortly after a brawl broke out outside a New York City restaurant last week over vaccine proof. Three Black women from Texas were charged with assault after they got into a fight with the hostess of the restaurant, who allegedly suggested that their vaccination cards were fake. The lawyers for the women have alleged that race was a factor in the row.
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