Yesterday we published a straightforward news article about a group calling themselves "Hugs Over Masks" who had gathered to protest TransLink's mandatory mask policy that went into effect this week.
In it we quoted one of the handful of protestors who said that they received a warm reception from the public. She said "I don't think we've had one negative reaction."
While I find that statement hard to believe, I am here to share my negative reaction.
These people are fools, spreading misinformation that - were it not so ridiculous and hard for the average person to believe instead of laugh at - could increase COVID-19 cases in our province.
Protecting "freedom" is this group's angle. And getting the word out that Bill Gates has a monopoly over "global health" (he doesn't). Oh, and something about record numbers of children being trafficked because they're wearing masks and being abducted and nobody can find them because they've got their faces covered (they're not).
It's wild conspiracy theory stuff that's detached from reality.
TransLink's policy is based on sound scientific data which tells us that wearing a mask while in close proximity to others can help us stop the spread of this virus.
This group's gripe is seemingly based on the opinions of non-experts on YouTube, and a desire to "resume earning their livelihood". Their founder is a distributor for a multi-level marketing company, and while he's big on loudly delivering the anti-mask message he's small on legitimate facts to back that message up.
I'm certain that 99.9% of you dear readers are sensible enough to follow public health orders, protect their neighbours, and wear masks while taking transit, so that we can find our way out of this pandemic sooner than later.
If you're not, Ryan Reynolds' mom and David Suzuki might get COVID-19 and die from it, and he's already asked us nicely that we not let that happen.
Wearing a mask won't kill you; not wearing one might end up killing someone else.
Don't let Ryan's mom (or your mom, or your brother, or anyone) be put at risk because you hope to protect your "freedom" to not protect others.