Embracing face coverings

 In Opinion

As a business, we wholeheartedly support the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s request that those with indoor public spaces ask visitors to wear face coverings. The decision sets a standard and helps to remove some of the ambiguity around mask use, and will help us create further good habits to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We are so fortunate in this community. People are quite respectful of each other on the whole and have managed to be safe, while retaining some semblance of normal – only in that we don’t have to endure long lines and people still smile and say, hello. But up until now, it has been a bit awkward figuring out if one should be wearing a mask in that moment or not.
The majority of people who come into our office and those in other establishments around Creemore, are already choosing to wear masks. The medical officer of health by officially requesting mask use, has simply made it normal practice. We don’t have to question if it’s weird, or rude, or paranoid to wear a mask. It is expected.
People still feel quite vulnerable when out and about and this will help everyone feel a bit more secure.
According to Dr. Charles Gardner, some people will be exempt from wearing the mask and that’s ok, because even if 80 per cent comply we may be able to avoid this big second wave that could be coming our way in the fall, and we could all stay open for business.
Those working indoors but from behind a full plexiglass enclosure will not have to wear masks. Health officials have said children under two shouldn’t wear a mask, but Gardner said any child five and under who struggles with the mask, shouldn’t wear one either. There are also exceptions for people with religious considerations and those with medical conditions. Again, this is fine because with the 80 per cent compliance rate, there is room for those who can’t wear one to move about in the community and feel somewhat protected.
The goal of the mask is to limit the transmission of the virus from the wearer to those around them, it is not so great at protecting the wearer from contracting the virus from others, although research is still being done on the effectiveness of non-medical masks.
Here at The Echo, we welcome the instructions from the Simcoe County District Health Unit and we look forward to greeting you with a hidden smile behind our masked faces.
As they say, it looks like we will have to live with this virus for quite some time, and we don’t want to have to go into another lockdown, so we should all do our part.
Surely, we don’t know more about the spread of communicable diseases than the health professions, who themselves are trying to learn about this new virus.
Let’s follow their instructions, and give this our best effort.

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