Some states partially reopened last week and businesses across the US are preparing to welcome customers back.
But because of the on going pandemic, things are very far from normal.
The Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, Massachusetts is forced to close its doors on Saturday just one day after reopening because customers refused to follow social distancing rules and even harassed the employees.
Things got so bad at the ice cream shop that a staff quit the same day.
“One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift. She stuck it through her shift,” owner Mark Lawrence told to a WFXT report. “But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn’t even say in a men’s locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
In accordance with reopening guidelines, the owner said the shop asked all customers to place their orders at least an hour in advance. But many customers ignored the guideline and showed up without doing so. When the shop got busy, customers vent their anger out on the staff.
“Now I open the doors to a whole new world, with gloves and masks and we’re running around like chickens, and people are like where’s my ice cream? I’m not a trauma center, it’s ice cream!” Lawrence said.
“People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes. They have no clue how to respect other human beings.”
Lawrence said “F-bombs were flying like snowflakes” and customers refused to social distance, forcing the shop to stay open nearly two hours after they were supposed to close.
At some point, one of the shop’s customers who noticed what was going on got out of her car, put on a mask and gloves, and helped them serve ice cream.
After work on Friday, the ice cream shop owner expressed his dismay on a Facebook post: “In 19 years of operation this is the lowest feeling I have ever felt.” The next day he made the tough decision to close to the public.
Fortunately, this ice cream shop’s story has a sweet ending.
The sorrowful posts quickly went viral in Mashpee, eliciting local news coverage and an outpouring of support from the public.
By Sunday, Lawrence had reopened and customers were following the rules.
“Today was a vastly improved operation,” he said on Facebook. “People placed their orders an hour or more (some, a day before) prior to their pick up time. They followed the rules and it worked.”
“Thank you for the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many,” Lawrence added. “It truly means so much to me at this time.”