OPINION: Mask not an assault on your personal freedoms

I must admit that I’m not a fan of wearing a mask. Within seconds of putting one on, my glasses become fogged, my vision is obscured and it feels like I’m trying to breathe with the covers pulled over my head.

It’s annoying and inconvenient. More than that, however, it’s necessary.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday lives in a great many ways over the past four-plus months so it’s curious why the simple act of wearing a mask – or not wearing one -- has become such a flashpoint. We accept a host of measures, from standing two metres apart in public to washing our hands more often than a surgeon, all in the name of the greater good, but for some reason when it comes to masks, there are people out there who view it as the proverbial line in the sand that must not be crossed.

I have to say I’m baffled how something as innocuous as a mask has become so politicized but I guess it’s viewed as a tipping point, a slippery slope where social responsibility turns into an assault on personal freedoms. This mindset is far more pronounced south of the border, but it’s gaining traction on this side of the line too, although I’m not sure if numbers are actually growing or folks just feel more confident speaking out.

Whatever the case, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that wearing a mask in public is anything more than an attempt to protect the health of others. I recognize there was some confusion and mixed messaging early on, but the vast majority of health professionals now believe it’s the prudent approach.

And with a moderate resurgence in cases in this province, to say nothing of an explosion elsewhere on the continent, it’s painfully obvious that we must all do our part.

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