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EDITORIAL: Masks should not be a partisan issue

Wearing a mask should not be a political issue. A simple gesture meant to protect those around you and prevent the spread of COVID-19 has morphed into a cantankerous monster of a topic seemingly dividing people into two camps— pro and anti-mask.
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Wearing a mask should not be a political issue.

A simple gesture meant to protect those around you and prevent the spread of COVID-19 has morphed into a cantankerous monster of a topic seemingly dividing people into two camps— pro and anti-mask.

Unfortunately, the rhetoric has become so toxic that our municipal government has had to weigh into a debate that should never have taken place.

We have lost sight that wearing a mask shows you care about others.

It has been a challenging year for us filled with radical changes due to COVID-19. We have experienced lockdowns, quarantines, business closures and a new normal dictated by public health measures created in response to the virus.

“I think Cochrane has done an awesome job throughout COVID— Cochrane has gone through this fairly unscathed. We’ve had low numbers of cases, Cochranites have done a great job in following guidelines and being kind,” said Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung. “We’ve been flattening the curve here.”

He noted the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province over the last month has created a lot of uncertainty and people are growing more aware of the use of masks. The topic has seen an increase in discussion among Cochranites, he said, adding that he has received feedback from both pro and anti-mask people.

If we hope to one day return to some sense of normalcy we need to take proactive steps to help protect the health and safety of our friends, families and neighbours.

Masks can serve as a tool to help us to do that— They should never have been elevated to a political talking point.

As a province, we need to rally and work together to once again flatten the curve of infection if we hope to see the region continue to reopen and help our economy heal.

The best way to do is by wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and using good hand hygiene. Doing so might save someone's life.

These are simple tasks we can perform in a year that has been filled with countless challenging sacrifices.

It has been a hard year and we are all tired, but if we all do our best to ensure we wear a mask and follow public health guidelines we can make a difference.

We are still adjusting and at times you may forget to wear a mask, wash your hands or maintain social distancing. What matters is that we learn and do better each day.

Those tiny actions help keep our community safe.

Now more then ever, Cochranites need to take any steps possible to flatten the curve of infection so life can return to a sense of normal, said Cochranite Laura Gray.

“If it’s going to mean that my kids can go back to school without having to have too many restrictions that would be great,” Gray said. “If I can start working without any restrictions that will be awesome.”



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