As if the COVID-19 lockdown hasn’t been challenging enough with all of its restrictions and safety measures, there's a new wrinkle to consider.

A pastor in Illinois has started the “Tip Your Mask” campaign as a way to prevent racial bias and alleviate the fears of grocery store employees who may be experiencing extra stress during these unprecedented times. The practice involves a brief lowering (or “tip”) of your mask as you enter a store, to reveal your face to employees and security cameras.

A report on KWQC TV outlined the thinking behind the movement:

...various local business owners agreed that tipping masks would ease their minds to know a customer is just inside to shop, and not commit a crime.

Many police departments in Illinois are supporting the movement and encouraging participation from citizens. Law enforcement officials also urge folks to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands as soon as possible after a “mask tip.”

This concept raises some questions:

  • What if a store employee doesn’t notice your “mask tip”?
  • Would you have to continually tip your mask as you made your way through the store and encountered other employees?
  • Do the risks inherent in this practice outweigh the potential benefits?
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