To Mask or Not to Mask - Is that Really The Question?

It may seem a little late to be asking this question because most of us have already figured it out. There are some though, who you often see on the nightly news, who are still a little, shall we say, unsure. They sometimes refer back to the beginning of the pandemic when we were told masks weren’t necessary unless you were a frontline healthcare worker. Some will argue that masks don’t do anything to protect anyone; that they constrict the amount of oxygen you receive; that they don’t want to be told what to do by politicians and I’m sure the list can go on.

Although I try to look at this with an appreciation of others’ viewpoints, I have some difficulty understanding this hesitance to don a mask. I too remember when Canada’s and Ontario’s top docs said that masks weren’t necessary but here’s the thing: that was then, this is now.

I think it is believable and reasonable that medical experts gave guidance based on what they knew at the very start of this whole thing. Think back to how suddenly this virus hit us, how little anyone knew about it. There didn’t seem to be community spread in the very first, earliest cases - they were all traced to travel, giving most of us a small albeit false sense of security. Then while we were racing around buying up all the toilet paper in the land, doctors were closely studying patients’ cases. The guidance around mask-wearing (and other safety protocols) changed as their knowledge base grew. Simple as that, in my mind.

As for whether or not masks do anything, there are many articles and scientific testing videos demonstrating that together with social distancing, wearing the right kind of mask does help protect others (and now the wearer too) from exposure to droplets. Most people walking around in the community don’t have access to N95 or similar masks. Health Canada recommends a 3-ply cotton mask with a layer of polypropylene in the middle. A good, comfortable snug fit are important too. You can read more about this here:

Given that medical and scientific experts around the globe recommend masks to help prevent community spread, and that it is such a simple measure we can all take, for me it is a no-brainer. I don’t see it as being controlled. I see it that when I need to leave my house for necessities, I may not feel ill but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t be carrying COVID19 virus. So I want to protect anyone I come into contact with because oh, I don’t know - it seems like the neighbourly thing to do. I’m thankful when others take the same approach to protect me.

We’re all in this together and we’ll come out of it together. Let’s stay safe, stay strong and hang in there as relief is finally in sight ❤️

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