Letter: 'Recommended' mask use should not become 'optional' mask use

Editor:

Here we go again.

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I wrote to KTW in November 2020, begging B.C. health authorities to mandate masking in public spaces.

Shortly after, a mask mandate was imposed, likely coincidentally, and almost immediately case numbers of COVID-19 began to fall. We should congratulate ourselves for a win in the battle against the pandemic.

However, no sooner has the Ministry of Health moved masking from mandated to recommended, as of July 1, than certain retailers seem to have thrown caution and concern for their employees and customers to the wind.

Case in point is the government liquor store in Columbia Place in Sahali.

When I was shopping there last week, masks were not in evidence. I queried an employee, who said the wearing of masks was now “optional.”

We now know COVID-19 variants pose a new and greater risk, even for the fully vaccinated, who may still have reduced immunity due to age and/or immune suppression from medications.

So I must ask: In what alternate universe does “recommended” mean “optional”?

Have we become so hardened in our concern for others that a simple measure proven to reduce spread of a deadly virus is eschewed because of, what, a misbegotten concept of personal rights?

What “right”could possibly trump one’s duty of care for one’s fellow?

The fact we are even debating this with reference to mandating vaccination for caregivers says volumes about the public ethos and the lack of courage of our political leaders.

Please understand this — your mask protects me. If you won’t wear one, it says you don’t care.

Sad, isn’t it. Is there any hope?

Larry Webster

Kamloops

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