"It's not about the mask, it's about human life," Metro Detroit pizza store owner urges public to mask up

People don't need to tell Fredi Bello how to act during the COVID-19 pandemic - he has his wife and kids to show what model behavior looks like.

"I use my family as an example. We check all the boxes," said Bello.

And the model behavior that Bello is begging Michigan residents to follow is simple: wear a mask.

"We want everybody to be happy we want everybody to be safe," Bello said. "Just take the negativity out of the world and don't make it about the mask. It's not about the mask, it's about human life."

If anyone understands the necessity of life-saving precautions like social distancing and masking up, it's Bello. He runs Fredi the Pizzaman in Melvindale. He has three kids who are all remote learning that he has to supervise, including his 6-year-old son with autism. 

And while he's on the fiscal frontlines, Bello's wife is on the medical frontlines. She's a physical therapist at a local hospital. 

For Bello and his family, any increase in COVID-19 cases means more unpredictability in his family's world. 

"Every category that's really getting crushed right now, my family is going through all of it," said Bello. "And we're not the only family. A lot of families are going through it."

But the latest record-breaking spike could mean something worse. Small businesses are about to get hit with another coronavirus-related lockdown. With an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 pushing Michigan hospitals near capacity, new restrictions will force indoor service to close in restaurants and bars.

That could further devastate financial outcomes for small businesses already hurting.

But even with the depressing potential of the latest lockdown, it's not surprising news to Bello.

"I just anticipate it and obviously my wife working in the hospital - she doesn't talk much about it but you can tell by her body language, I just know knew it was going to happen," the small business owner said.

"It's mental anguish," he added. "You take that home with you because they see what we don't see."