Letter: Mask up, Kamloops retailers

Editor:

I am shocked at the attitude of many Kamloops retailers that do not ask their staff to wear masks.

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When I inquire, store managers respond that masking is “only” recommended — not regulated — by our beloved Dr. Bonnie Henry. Hence few employees bother to comply.

As everyone is aware, the initial advice of epidemiologists back in March, that masks provided little protection, has changed. It is now generally recommended that masks be worn in closed spaces where distancing is not possible. Further, reliable figures show a likely 50 to 80 per cent decline in COVID-19 cases when masks are worn everywhere.

Remember the story of the two estheticians, both infected, who did not transmit the virus to even one of more than 100 clients?

Both workers and all their customers were, without exception, masked.

Any science begins from a state of ignorance; fact after fact adds to the body of knowledge, producing an ever-evolving better understanding of the issue.

So it is with mask recommendations — based on a growing body of knowledge, scientists have changed their advice, as well they should. This doesn’t mean the new recommendation is false.

Do we want to be led by experts who are afraid to adapt to new and different information? We’d be fools to fall for that.

Yet so many people seem to stubbornly resist a simple act that will reduce their exposure to infection and which would, if generally adopted, greatly reduce the risk of an economic armageddon occurring.

So, here are two questions regarding non-mask wearing:

1. Does an individual in our society have the right to persist in a behaviour that will harm them?

2. Does that same person have the right to behave in a way that could jeopardize the health of others?

Are these behaviours rights? O do we have a duty of care and a responsibility to protect the well-being of our fellow humans?

Rights versus duty — there can only be one answer in a moral society.

 So, you grocery store managers and other retailers, don’t wait until masks are mandated.

Take the step that shows you are concerned about the welfare of your customers, as you claim in your advertising, and mask up.

Larry Webster

Kamloops

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