This gym owner in Maui is one of my heroes
Paul Romero, the owner of Makena CrossFit in Maui, is a man of courage: he walks the "do not comply" talk in his gym. But he's gone beyond that: he convinced Safeway to make masks optional on Maui.
I first met Paul Romero, owner of Makena CrossFit in Maui, on October 15, 2021 in Maui. At the time he impressed me as an intelligent, well-informed business owner who was concerned about all the COVID restrictions on Maui.
We’ve been in touch on-and-off since that time with occasional phone calls.
I asked about how things were going and whether they have any higher COVID case rates for gym members than the general public. Answer: no difference.
But this time Paul had a big surprise for me.
Despite the mandates in Hawaii, his business has resisted complying with the mandates and …drum roll please… he convinced Safeway to make all their stores on Maui to be “mask optional.”
He’s a model for what we need everyone to be doing: educating others and getting them to resist what is going on.
In Maui, they’ve now delegated health policy to the local Mayors since, as we all know, they know the science better than anyone (sarcasm off).
But for some reason, Michael P. Victorino, Mayor of Maui County, will not be held accountable for his health orders. He will not meet with anyone or answer any questions. He’s the role model of the perfect COVID politician: enforce the mandates, don’t ask any questions about what you are told to do, don’t answer any questions from your constituents, and never meet with anyone on this topic. No wonder he’s so popular on Maui.
Here’s my 20 minute video with Paul where he talks about how things are going on Maui (which is not well) and how he got Safeway to make masks optional in their stores.
This is off topic but I wanted you to see this. I do not know how to contact you otherwise.
I’m inspired, as always. Thinking about how I can approach local businesses with some documentation to turn masking requirements around… I’m in Canada and our situation is getting pretty desperate. But we are not intimidated and we aren’t giving up. Seems to me with tenacity and kindness anything is possible. Im realizing how important it is to have the courage to walk into stores without a mask on. We need to be examples for others who are not brave enough. But I tell you, I was shocked by the look in a young man’s eyes when I walked in the pet store he was working at and told him I am mask exempt. Normally, since Im a woman, men look at me differently, but not this young man. I could see anger and gosh, maybe even rage. The vibe was powerful, dark and surprising coming from such a young guy… I think he thought I was lying and he was just so pissed. He didn’t say a thing except ask me to stand at the front of the store while another employee grabbed my items. When it came time to pay, he could not stand to look at me, he made his disdain for me very obvious. I’m going to make it a point to go back there with love, respect and kindness in my heart. I hope my smile will break through a little bit. I have to try.