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To mask, or not to mask, it’s your choice

November 2022

Re:  “No More Masks”  (The Hamilton Spectator, Letters to the editor, 24 November):  If you want to keep wearing a mask for the rest of your life, go right ahead.  You don’t need a government mandate; just wear one if you want, but no one should be forced or shamed into wearing one if they don’t want to.  There seems to be a cohort of people who just can’t let go of what has become as much of a security blanket, as it is a virtue-signaling badge.  The latest argument for re-imposing mask mandates in the rise of influenza infections (which happens every year around this time), RSV infections, along with continued Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus infections.

Look, I don’t want anyone to get sick, or worse, die from any of these viruses, including myself, but until CCP Virus came into our lives, no one wore masks during the annual cold and flu season.  It just wasn’t even on the radar of most people.  It’s simply a part of life for most people that at least once over the winter, you would catch a cold, or maybe the flu, and you just deal with it.  Proper handwashing, getting a flu vaccine each fall, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and staying home when you are sick, is the regular course of action for most people.  Building up a natural immunity, often through recommended vaccinations, gets us through most of the things that want to make us sick and/or kill us.

If you really think about it, the world is a pretty filthy place.  Just think of all the things we touch on a daily basis, like door handles, buttons on an elevator, bank machines or debit terminals, hand rails, shopping carts, cash, etc.  How often, if ever, do you think any of these things are properly cleaned?  In a lot of ways, I’m glad that I’m not a microbiologist.  I’d probably never want to leave my house, although my cell phone and dishcloth are probably dirtier than the bathroom floor at Grand Central Station in New York City.

I’ll wear a mask if asked to, in the few places that still require them, like a doctor’s office or a hospital. I won’t be a jerk about it, just as I have throughout the past two years, but it’s time we all got on with our lives and just learn to live with viruses like CCP Virus and RSV. Just remember to properly wash your hands as much as you can and stay home if you are sick.


The Letters to the Editor that inspired this column:

No more masks

I find the sight of Canadians wearing masks very depressing. Historically we dealt with contagious disease by isolating the infected and not by inflicting the whole population. In addition precautionary measures were paramount. Government encouraged good nutrition with Canada’s Food Guide, educated Canadians on vitamins and minerals and even made them available at no cost. I remember taking a free government ‘B’ supplement when I was in grade school. Milk, enriched with cod liver oil was also available to any and all children at that time. Masks, on the other hand, are negative symbols representing fear and repression, not freedom.

Betty L. Reade, Oakville


Yes to more masking

Regarding ‘No more masks’ (Nov. 24): The writer describes masks as negative symbols causing fear and repression. She cites past measures of protection that may or may not be an effective alternative. Masks are uncomfortable, hinder verbal communication and facial cues and can be a nuisance. But they are an effective tool in protecting vulnerable populations. (And another plus, I don’t need to shave as frequently!) As long as I am involved in caring for young grandchildren and visiting senior friends I plan to keep donning one.

Mark Van Beveren, Ancaster

Things worse than masking

This letter writer appears to be suggesting vitamins, and better nutrition, will provide protection from COVID. I’m sure they would do no harm. But the evidence suggests masks (and vaccinations, which she doesn’t mention) are more effective. Yes, it is depressing that we need to think about such things, but I find the prospect of serious illness, long-term brain fog, and/or death to be a whole lot more depressing.

Richard Harris, Hamilton

Not about freedom

Regarding the anti-masking letter, I get it! Masks are depressing, however our children are sick and going to school and daycare and spreading it around. They are going to overcrowded hospitals for treatment. We are stretching our doctors and nurses to breaking. If you are expecting our government to do what you say it used to do, I think you may be expecting too much. We, as caring and responsible people, have to take charge and do all we can to protect the most vulnerable. If that means wearing a mask, I will do it. It has nothing to do with freedom.

Cathie Watters, Hamilton


Sources: https://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editors/2022/11/26/nov-26-burlington-councils-look-at-me-event-yes-to-more-masking-and-other-letters.html, https://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editors/2022/11/24/nov-24-diesel-demand-praising-sylvia-fraser-no-more-masks-and-other-letters.html.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/to-mask-or-not-to-mask-its-your-choice/

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