Some Central Albertans calling for mask wearing to become mandatory

A family physician from Didsbury supports the Masks4Canada movement

Phone, wallet, keys, face mask.

That could be the new checklist amid the COVID-19 pandemic if mask wearing becomes mandatory – a topic that’s being debated everywhere.

Didsbury family physician Shauna Craven is a supporter of the Masks4Canada movement.

The group recommends that mask wearing become mandatory in all indoor spaces outside of the home, such as schools and stores, among crowds (where distancing from others is difficult) and on public transit.

Craven is one of the more than 1,000 health professionals across Canada who have signed open letters to health officials.

The idea behind making masks mandatory is: My mask protects you, your mask protects me, we all protect society.

Craven said some studies show mandatory masking can significantly reduce the number of infections.

“When I go to the grocery store, I would say probably only 25 per cent of people are wearing masks, and I know people try very hard with social distancing guidelines, but I’ve been in situations where people are inadvertently breaking that distance, and it’s not intentional,” she said.

She said making masks mandatory wouldn’t mean we forget about the other measures in place, such as social distancing and frequent hand washing.

“It’s now just become the norm to quickly hand sanitize, take that pump as you walk into the store, and it’s just become a new routine for people. And all masking would do is add to that.”

The mother of three said she also supports the movement to protect our economies and to protect everyone in the community from potentially spreading the virus.

“I want to see people going to work, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes for that to continue to happen. I don’t want to go back to people being unemployed and businesses being shuttered.

“So if masking could be one part of the answer to that, I’m happy to do it.”

Craven sees mandatory masking as an opportunity to care for the most vulnerable, such as seniors and people of colour.

“People of colour are also at higher risk for severe outcome, so why wouln’t I want to protect the most vulnerable in our community?”

The idea is to protect and care for communities.

“I mask not to protect myself. I mask to prevent me from potentially spreading it. The thought that goes through my head is they care about me and I care about them.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, cited Toronto’s example of making mask wearing mandatory – a decision that was made Tuesday.

“Municipalities have the ability to look at their own epidemiology, their own circumstance, and if they feel a particular measure is appropriate in that particular context, then municipalities have the opportunity to go forward and put that in place,” she said.

“We are, of course, provincially, continuing to encourage all Albertans to wear masks in public indoor spaces, especially where they’re not able to consistently maintain two metres of distance.”



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake couple donates $850,000 to AACS

The donation will be put towards a new X-Ray machine for the facility

Samson Cree Nation reeling after 10 year old-boy-shot; 13-year-old charged of manslaughter

‘Don’t give up, keep praying, we will get through this’

Update: Possible drowning at Pigeon Lake involved man and woman from Edmonton

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Oilers 50/50 raffle delayed as team resolves errors, offers refunds

Alberta fans who want to void any ticket purchases will have until noon Thursday

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Most Read