Over the last few weeks, I have heard from multiple sources about people either deciding to disregard the health unit imposed rules about masks and face coverings, or complaining about having to wear some sort of fabric over their mouth and nose.
I know this pandemic has been going on for what seems to be a long time now, but can we all just please respect and follow the emergency rules?
Yes, Durham Region and Kawartha Lakes health units do have exemptions to the mask order. Those who have respiratory issues, disabilities, who cannot take off the mask without help, children under the age of two, or people who can’t wear a mask due to religious reasons are exempt from the Durham Region Health or Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit order. But if you don’t fit into those categories, you have two options. Either wear the mask or other face covering, or just don’t go inside any businesses.
I understand some masks can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods, but there are so many options you can choose from. If you don’t like your mask, wear a scarf around your face, or purchase a different mask that may be a bit more comfortable as there have been many businesses and community groups making them.
Also, please be respectful of businesses that are doing this to protect their customers, protect their staff, their patients or doctors, if it is a medical facility, or just doing it to comply with health unit regulations. If they feel this is important, it is their right to ask you to wear a mask while inside their establishment.
Even if you feel wearing a mask won’t make much of a difference, can you at least wear one to make others feel safe?
Yes, it’s not ideal to have to wear a mask or face covering. I too look forward to the day when I can go inside a business without having my mouth and nose covered. But we are not currently in an ideal situation. The pandemic is still ongoing. It didn’t end when Ontario entered stage 3 of the reopening framework recently. COVID-19 is still a threat to everyone.
The world is facing a health crisis, the least you can do is wear a face covering when you are in a public indoor space.