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Residents, business-owners express mixed emotions about face mask requirement in St. Louis area

"The masks are uncomfortable and they hurt the back of my ears, but on Friday everybody in my shop will wear them," says a St. Louis City barber.

ST. LOUIS — On Thursday Nick Tulenko enjoyed walking his dog in the Central West End and Tulenko did it without wearing a mask.

"I think wearing a face mask everywhere is a little bit much," said Tulenko.

Tulenko admits he had no idea on Friday if he goes to a store, a gas station or any public place in St. Louis city and county, where social distancing is not possible, he will be required to wear a face mask.

"No, I was totally unaware, so I'm glad that I ran into you guys yes. I would have been out without a mask for sure," said Tulenko.

"I think it's a good idea that people wear masks in public right now," said Tabetha Streb.

For Streb, wearing a mask has become a daily necessity ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's really part of the new norm," Streb said.

Still, Streb doesn't think most people will obey the new public health order which requires face coverings for anyone over 9 years old and is strongly recommended for anyone over the age of 2.

Of course, there are exceptions like eating at restaurants, exercising and certain medical conditions.

"I think if you're obliging now, you're going to wear a mask. If you're not going to, people are just gonna be like you can't tell me what to do," added Streb.

"Masks are extremely uncomfortable and they hurt the back of your ears," said Curtis York, the owner of a south side barber shop.

Nonetheless, York said "uncomfortable" or not, all of his customers entering his shop starting Friday must wear a face mask.

"We're complying. Everybody's wearing a mask. If you don't have one, we'll provide one for you. If anyone refuses to wear one, then I'll risk losing their money right not to try to help stop the spread of the virus," said York.


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