Editor: I’m mad.
Because I have dozens of brothers and sisters on the frontlines of medicine and medical technology across North America who now have to find it in them to once again step into the fray as COVID starts to resurge in the U.S. and people start to relax about it in Canada.
I don’t want to hear facts about COVID or masks or infection rates or anything else. I’ve done the reading. I’ve done the research. I ignore the naysayers, the conspiracy theorists, the Dr. Google MDs. The real-world evidence is sadly all around us.
My argument is purely emotional, based on talking to fellow first responders who are breaking down, hitting their walls, and being heartbroken at seeing the work they so desperately fought through in March, April, and May be undone by selfishness, greed, arrogance, and poor leadership.
If you believe you know better than well-trained medical professionals and don’t want to wear a mask into a store if you are either asked or compelled to do so (like in the Toronto area through a bylaw), don’t expect to have any rights as a customer. You have none.
Don’t bother calling the police, because the store has committed no crime by asking you to mask up. Any store can refuse to serve anyone they want for a legitimate, defensible reason at any time.
Be quiet, leave, and try another store. If you get turned down again, maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a pattern forming.
If you legitimately have a medical condition that lets you not wear a mask (discomfort is not a medical condition, by the way) then it’s understandable.
If you’re just a jerk who is willing to lie about needing an exemption just so you can selfishly go shopping, then you need to live with yourself about that and be comfortable with the fact that you’re a huge dirtbag, and be ready to perjure yourself if you try to follow through with a human rights complaint.
If you don’t like businesses or the government “telling you what to do,” then go off the grid. Cut yourself off from hydro, water, sewage, phone, Internet. Don’t go to the hospital if you get hurt. Learn to grow your own food and sew your own clothes and build your own home out in the middle of nowhere so pesky things like building standards and fire protection and police officers responding to that weird noise outside won’t bother you anymore.
There, you’re free to be as big of a loudmouth goof as you want to be.
Wearing a mask is not a political issue. It’s a compassion issue. An empathy issue. A humanity issue.
Or is all that truly gone?