Mandatory Masks: Why They’re Important And What We Can Do Better

I’m sure that by now most of you are aware that face masks have been made mandatory in Brockville. This is a growing trend around Canada and is definitely a step forward and not a step back.

Still, many of us are asking, why is this mandatory now? Our numbers are improving and the province is loosening some of the restrictions put in place to prevent the initial spread. So why do we now have to wear face masks?

It is simple, let’s take a look

1. Wearing a face mask reduces your chances of infecting someone else.

There are some images floating around the internet showing the reduction of transmission rates when a mask is worn by everyone. While these numbers are not proven, the concept behind the numbers is solid.

Without a face mask it is really easy to pick up the virus if you come in contact with someone infected.

When a healthy person wears a face mask, the chances of them getting sick are slightly lower.

When a sick person wears a face mask, their chances of passing the virus to someone else is greatly reduced.

When both health and sick people wear face masks, the chance of transmission is reduced even further.

Of course, if you are sick, stay home!

2. More open businesses means more potential transmission

As the summer is now in full bloom and more businesses and patios are opening up, we are coming into contact with a lot more people.

Canada Day was a prime example, patios were full, the beaches had many people on them. Everyone was out and enjoying the sun. This is great and we are all for enjoying what our awesome town has to offer.

But more people means the chance of transmission increases. Wearing a mask will help to reduce that risk percentage.

Masks are going to be what allows us to move away from lockdown so we can enjoy the beautiful summer.

3. Keeping our numbers low now will benefit us in the event of a second wave.

82% of Canadians believe there will be a second wave, keeping our numbers low right now will be a deciding factor in the severity of the second wave.

There are 4 possibilities for a second wave; either it won’t happen, it won’t be as impactful as the first, it will be the same as the first, or it will be worse.

If it is worse than the first wave, we can expect the hospital systems to become overwhelmed which will only make things even worse.

By keeping our numbers super low now we leave a ton of room left in the capacity of the health care networks. This means, if the time does come, that there will be beds and doctors / nurses to help those infected with the virus.

So, what do we need to do better?

The other day I posted a question on facebook,

“Why are the masks mandatory now and not weeks ago?”

Instead of politely guiding me or offering insight, the post was met with attacks and negativity. It seems people are so triggered by the mandatory masks that they can’t even read a post to see that it is merely a question and not a statement against masks.

We also heard a story of someone who at 6am went in to a restaurant to grab a coffee before work, they forgot their mask in the car and were aggressively yelled at by the staff inside. This was a mere 6 hours after the mandate went into effect.

A simple mistake met with negativity and aggression.

Let’s be better

We have to remember that, while we are all on edge during these unprecedented times, we are also still human. There will be a learning curve as we adjust to yet another new normal.

If you see someone not wearing a mask and you feel safe to do so, politely ask them to put one on.

DO NOT video them and post it to the internet.

DO NOT publicly berate them for not wearing a mask.

DO NOT yell at them aggressively

Help them instead, if they become aggressive, walk away, it’s not your battle.

This is something new for all of us and especially now, we must be kind to each other.

Working together is the only way for us to get out of this pandemic, even if we still must stay socially distant.

Here is an awesome video explaining why we should wear masks

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