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Wear a mask, Oshawa

george longley cartoon

(Cartoon by George Longley)

As Stage 3 is now in full swing in most of Ontario, the province has seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Because of this, residents have been told in many municipalities to wear a mask when in public.

The reason for this is simple: while a mask may protect you, it also protects others from you if you are infected, and might not know.

One requirement laid down during the COVID-19 pandemic has been social distancing of six feet, or two metres, while out in public. This is because the particles a person breathes, sneezes, or coughs carry the COVID-19 virus if they are infected.

What a mask can do is limit the number of particles carried from a person’s breath, therefore limiting the spread of the virus.

Durham Region Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle made a recent announcement that masks are now mandatory when in public places across the region, which includes Oshawa.

However, while it’s been a simple task for some, others have expressed their desire to have the choice to wear a mask, and feel it impedes on their freedoms.

For these individuals many have said the masks are uncomfortable, and they make it difficult to breathe.

However, while discomfort is a legitimate issue for some and there are reasons for some to not wear a mask, it’s necessary right now to protect yourself and others.

So far across the world there have been 654,000 deaths from COVID-19, among 16.5 million cases. In Canada, there have been 8,901 deaths, and 115,000 cases.

However, while Canada’s numbers may not have been the worst, just to the south of us in the U.S., COVID-19 has gone unchecked, and there have been 4.38 million cases of the virus, and approximately 150,000 deaths.

It’s extremely simple for a virus with no known cure to get out of hand here if unchecked, and masks help to do just that.

The message is simple Oshawa: wear a mask. For most, it’s a minor inconvenience to protect yourself and others.