Masks are required in B.C. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Masks are required in B.C. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

There’s an intense and disturbing level of tension and anger over the province’s COVID-19 face mask mandate.

The mandate, in place for several months, requires people to wear non-medical face masks inside stores, restaurants, offices and other buildings open to the public.

While the majority are cooperating, a segment of the population is pushing back against these regulations.

The mask rule and other regulations were introduced as a way to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Man allegedly spits in store employee’s face after refusing to wear mask: Vancouver police

Still, there are some who are fiercely and vocally opposed to wearing a mask. At times, their opposition has led to conflicts, sometimes resulting in threats. In some instances, store staff have had to call the police in order to prevent an altercation.

Such incidents happen far too frequently, and each week there are new accounts of tense conflicts over face masks.

This level of tension is over the top. Store staff and building personnel should not be threatened when they ask customers to wear a face mask during a pandemic.

And in the end, altercations over mask regulations do not change the reality of the mandate or the pandemic. COVID-19 is here, no matter what anyone thinks of the regulations.

For close to a year, restrictions have been in place around the world in order to control this pandemic. By now, all should be aware of the regulations and the reasons behind the restrictions.

This pandemic has claimed more than 2.5 million lives worldwide. Some who have had the virus continue to face lingering after-effects.

Wearing a mask can be seen as an annoyance or a mild inconvenience, but it is a small sacrifice to make in order to help keep ourselves and others safe during a global pandemic.

It’s time to calm down and accept the reality of the present mask regulations. Fighting the restrictions will not make the pandemic go away.

— Black Press

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