Masks are mandatory inside public spaces.

Masks are mandatory inside public spaces.

Test the theory: wear a mask

We have five weeks until Christmas, so there is still time. Let’s pull together to get make it work.

The latest health orders from the BC government have hung a black cloud over our town.

People are angry, sad, frustrated and tired. Santa had to cancel his visit to Candy Cane Lane. Events we know and cherish have been cancelled. Family and social gatherings are a bust.

For two weeks, at least.

That’s how long Dr. Bonnie Henry and Premier John Horgan want us to hunker down, wear a mask and not to travel outside our regions. Unless we refuse to listen.

For the most part, people are following the order. It’s less a hardship than an inconvenience for most to slip on a mask before going into a store or a public place. It’s no different, really than wearing a seatbelt – a law that drew a lot of anger when it was introduced – or a bicycle or hockey helmet. Not that long ago, the debate was raging over laws forcing cigarette smokers outside and that kerfuffle seems to have disappeared like smoke in the wind.

Like all of those other laws, there are those who disagree, who argue we are all sheep for following the rules, that we are losing our freedoms. Some have resorted to name-calling on social media feeds or making disparaging comments about Dr. Henry, who has been bearing this pandemic for months. Do people really think she wants to be up there day in and day out, harping at us to be safe and calm and kind?

As the media, we are taking daily hits by posting COVID-19 stories. We will keep running them, though, because that’s what we do. We report the news and the facts as we know them and let people make up their own minds. We love an honest and good debate among the public when people clearly state their arguments factually and respectfully but we will shut off the comments or remove those that stoop to name-calling or disrespectful comments.

Two weeks. Wear a mask for two weeks – the length of time for the virus to run its course – and see if it makes a difference. Consider it an experiment. Those who don’t believe masks work should take this time to prove their claims. Put on a mask for two weeks. Make a point, or not. It’s not the time to disparage those who want to be safe, or who have lost people dear to them as a result of this virus.

Everybody wants this pandemic to be over. It’s been a long eight months and an even longer winter is looming. Perhaps if we can get through this second lockdown successfully, we can all have the Christmas we want. Even better, maybe masks won’t become a permanent fixture in our lives.

We have five weeks until Christmas, so there is still time. Let’s pull together to get make it work.

Two weeks. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay six feet apart.

We won’t know until we try.

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