Some Central Albertans calling for mask wearing to become mandatory

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.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Starting Monday, golf courses across the province will be limited to their household or for those who live alone, their two close contacts. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Black Press)
Golf in Alberta limited to household or close contacts starting Monday

The new policy lumps golf in with all other outdoor activities

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Alberta leads the Prairie provinces in being the first to take COVID-19 vaccine bookings for pre-teens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leads Prairie provinces in accepting COVID vaccine bookings for pre-teens

The province begins accepting appointments for kids as young as 12 starting today

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)

Most Read