We bring you the story this week of Jake Musgrave, the young man from North Van set to pedal 6,000 kilometres across Canada to raise money for leukemia research, wearing a face mask the whole way. Musgrave is a role model in more ways than one.
Starting this coming Monday, all TransLink passengers will be required to wear masks on the bus, SkyTrain or the SeaBus. And when our kids return to their schools in a few weeks, they too will have to mask up when moving through crowded hallways.
It’s because our public health leaders know that when physical distancing isn’t possible, a mask is the best option to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
Of course, we recommend everyone wears a mask when accessing indoor shops and services. Keeping your droplets to yourself is absolutely the Canadian thing to do. But we wonder if it isn’t time for the province to start making masks mandatory in all buildings – much like we have seen in other jurisdictions.
As of Monday, there were 743 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. – the highest we’ve had since the pandemic began and just a hair behind Ontario, which has three times the population. There, the hardest hit regions have had mandatory mask orders for most of the summer.
Of course, exemptions must be made for people with legitimate reasons. And there will be a few rugged individualist “anti-maskers” who are more concerned with themselves than a pandemic making thousands of people sick and ravaging the economy.
Masks may be an inconvenience. But compared to overflowing ICUs and economic shutdowns, they are a tiny price to pay.
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