Costco faced backlash after requiring shoppers to wear masks in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Now shoppers are rallying around Costco to support the company's new mask policy.
"I totally support your mask policy," one person commented on Costco's Facebook page. "It is small minded individuals who don't understand the reason for it. Covid is not a hoax. It is a serious problem."
Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images
People are rallying around Costco after the warehouse chain faced backlash for requiring shoppers to wear masks.
Costco rolled out a new policy that, starting Monday, "all Costco members and guests must wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while at Costco," except for children under 2 years old and people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face masks.
Some angry shoppers protested the new policy on social media.
—Talia (@talialikeitis) April 28, 2020
But now shoppers are speaking out in support of Costco, with thousands of people tweeting the hashtag #SupportCostco.
—SpartanMSU (@SpartanMSU) May 8, 2020
—Flo is staying home regardless!😷 (@GretschGirl5120) May 8, 2020
—MillyMac #MayDay 🌎🤟🏼🕊💟✌️✊🏼🌹✊🏿 (@GenXer4Progress) May 8, 2020
Costco's Facebook page has also been flooded with customers showing support for the chain.
"I think it is wonderful that Costco is requiring masks to go into their business," one comment said. "They are working to keep me, my family and their employees safe during a difficult time. If [you] do not want to be safe, then go somewhere else."
"I totally support your mask policy," another said. "It is small minded individuals who don't understand the reason for it. Covid is not a hoax. It is a serious problem. People are dying for God's sake. Suck it up and protect others."
—Glen Roberts (@bigskippy123) May 8, 2020
—it’s just me (@msmary128) May 8, 2020
—Just Erin 🦄 (@ErinBode) May 8, 2020
Costco did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
In response to a request for comment on the backlash last week, a Costco representative directed Business Insider to a message on the company's website from CEO Craig Jelinek.
"We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience," Jelinek wrote. "This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face covering protects not just the wearer, but others too."
Some angry shoppers have taken extreme actions against retailers' new safety policies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear face coverings in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Open businesses have adopted new policies to encourage social distancing, as well as other safety measures.
Retail workers have been forced to deal with customers who are unhappy or angry with these changes. Three McDonald's employees were shot and a Family Dollar security guard was shot and killed in the past week in incidents the police have linked to shoppers reacting violently after being told about new safety policies.
Last weekend, the police were called to a Costco in New Rochelle, New York, as a crowd waiting to enter the store became aggressive when the warehouse opened 30 minutes later than expected.
"In 30-plus years of studying retail and crisis situations, we have never seen a situation of customers being so rude to hourly employees," Larry Barton, a professor of crisis management and public safety at the University of Central Florida, wrote in an email to Business Insider's Mary Hanbury.
"It's demoralizing and, as we saw with the shooting of the security guard, a sometimes deadly environment," he added.
Recent polling has found that, despite a vocal backlash, most Americans support social-distancing guidelines and don't feel comfortable with nonessential businesses reopening.