To mask or not to mask — that shouldn’t even be the question

It has always amused me how often humans barely value their own lives, let alone the lives of their fellow human beings. So it doesn’t much surprise me when I see people drowning in endless debate over whether or not to wear masks publicly.

I remember when I was a teenager, my cousin from U.S. had visited us in India and he was so amused that wearing seat-belts and having a child-seat was not enforced there. He felt a sense of freedom to not be bound to a car-seat or stuck in one place by a seat-belt. And believe me, I get it. I get wanting to be free (reminiscing over the rebellious teen-years of my past self). But wouldn’t it be extra nice to be free, and alive?

That incident must’ve been some 20 years back and yet, here we are, 20 years later and wearing a seat-belt is still not enforced in India. Of course, if you get caught not wearing a seat-belt in the front seat, you will be fined, but wearing a seat-belt is not enforced, just as wearing a helmet when riding a bike, is not enforced as strictly as it is in US or Canada. What is disturbing here though is how people knowingly, willingly risk their lives by not wearing a seat-belt or not wearing a helmet — rule, or no rule!

And so, when I see Twitter exploding over whether or not masks should be worn in public, it makes me extremely wary of the debates. Why should putting on a mask, that might save your life be such an inconvenience for anyone?

When we go to a bug-infested area, we carry bug spray, when going out in the sun, we put on sunscreen, when going hiking, we carry first-aid, so why not wear a mask if the health officials ask that of us, for our own safety?

City of Kansas in U.S. is enforcing a statewide mandate for all its residents to wear masks. Today, in Kingston, Ontario, Dr. Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health, has also issued an order requiring masks or face coverings while indoors at any public venues. Transport Canada had already made masks mandatory for its passengers, starting April itself. Counties of Wellington, Dufferin and the City of Guelph made masks mandatory at most businesses in June while starting July 1, Côte Saint-Luc in Montreal, is making masks mandatory in indoor public spaces.

With places opening up, and cases ramping up, it is becoming imperative that we follow the orders laid out by the public health officials of our communities, no matter the personal inconvenience it might cause us.

Now B.C. is moving to phase three, allowing non-essential travel however, if tomorrow Dr. Henry is to ask us to mask-up (you know, like suit-up!), I am hoping to find strong, law-abiding residents around me, following the order instead of debating over something that could prove to be a matter of life or death for our vulnerable few.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

The much-awaited Splash Park opens in Burns Lake

The Splash Park at the Radley Beach Park is finally open for… Continue reading

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read