File Photo/Black Press

EDITORIAL: Why I wear a mask and you should, too

Editor Adam Louis says it’s about more than the practical

I haven’t been around Agassiz and Harrison as much as I’d like to be. Given a worldwide pandemic, I can scarcely be blamed.

When I am out and about in Chilliwack or in Agassiz and Harrison, I frequently wear a mask. I admit I still feel a healthy mix of silly and shady whenever I don it, but I still do it anyway.

It’s true that I don’t have the ideal N95 mask most commonly reserved for those on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. However, what I do have is a decent, additional shield in the event I carry COVID-19 and I sneeze, cough or, as Trudeau infamously put it, “talk moistly.” I’ve been fortunate enough not to get sick during this time, but it’s better to be safe.

RELATED: EDITORIAL: What were we talking about again?

The effectiveness of wearing masks that fall short of the N95 standard has been the subject of debate and controversy since COVID-19 first emerged. Sometimes it’s recommended, sometimes it isn’t. Some say it’s effective, others aren’t as sure. There are some who strictly view it as a symbol of government oppression, but I have neither the time nor patience to give the notion a further platform when the greater good is at stake.

In addition to curbing my ongoing nervous habit of touching my face (a vice only aggravated by the recent addition of a full beard), wearing a mask helps prevent respiratory droplets from slipping out of my various orifices and onto unsuspecting and unwilling bystanders.

Gross.

It’s not perfect. We all know that. But wearing a mask is just another weapon in the arsenal in the fight against COVID-19. Until and even for some time after a vaccine is developed, we need all the help we can get.

Wearing a mask is more than just practical. To me, having a mask on sends a message says “Hey, I don’t know if I’m carrying any illness, but I care enough about you that I don’t want to risk making you sick. Stay strong, we’re getting there.”

RELATED: EDITORIAL: Camera wars are still unproductive

I’ve said it before, and I may end up saying it again soon – I find social media shaming to be ineffective and counterproductive in a vast majority of cases, perpetuating an addiction to the illusion of power that is both toxic and false. Please refrain from shaming those who choose not to wear a mask on social media.

If someone is perhaps standing a bit close to you, I don’t think it’s out of the question or impolite to gently remind them to continue distancing. Unlike elsewhere, here in the Fraser Valley, I find it possible to do that without fear of people getting offended, screaming their throats raw about personal freedom and retaliating by coughing on you.

I can’t order you to wear a mask, nor do I intend to. You’re, I assume, a mature person. I would, however, recommend it. It’s an additional step that could slow the spread of COVID-19 even further. Even if it only affects one other person, it’s worth it.

To those of you who have made masks to sell or give to others, carry on. You’re doing great work and your contributions absolutely matter. Be proud.

To all of you, kindly wear a mask. Keep washing your hands. Keep your distance. At the very least, it’s just the polite thing to do.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC OpinionsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Rosedale man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

File Photo
Halloween and history collide in Agassiz this month

The spooky displays at the museum are on now until Halloween

Chilliwack-Kent 2020 provincial election candidates, clockwise from bottom left, Kelli Paddon (NDP), Eli Gagne (Libertarian), Jeff Hammersmark (Green), Jason Lum (Independent), and Laurie Throness, who began the campaign as a BC Liberal but left the party on Oct. 15.
Advance voting nears 5,000 in Chilliwack-Kent

More than 380,000 voters have voted in advance across B.C.

Owen Charpentier, 21, is charged with the Oct. 22, 2019 second-degree murder of Keith Baldwin in Chilliwack. (File)
Pre-trial dates set for Chilliwack man charged with Keith Baldwin’s murder

Owen Dale Charpentier accused in the fourth homicide of 2019 next in court June 2021

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read