Although Algoma Public Health’s policy mandating the wearing of masks when entering local businesses may not have the force of law behind it, it nevertheless seems to be getting the desired effect.
On Friday, the day the policy went into effect, I never saw a person, employee or customer, without a mask on my visits to Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Lyons Timber Mart, Home Depot and Home Hardware, although a couple in Canadian Tire were definitely not happy about it.
“I hate this G– d— mask; I can’t breathe,” the husband said, tugging at the mask
“I hate the G– d— thing too,” the wife said, “but you have to wear it.”
They were still going at it as I moved out of earshot..
On Saturday on a visit to Station Mall, I did see a few people in the hallways of the mall not wearing masks.
As well, this was also the case with the employees in a couple of businesses.
The sign on the doors to the mall says that both customers and employees are to wear a face covering.
However, from what I have seen so far, you couldn’t ask for more in the way of compliance.
I pointed out in my column last week that the policy does not have the force of law behind it so, as APH says itself, businesses will not be forced to turn away people who refuse to wear a mask. However, they can enforce the policy on their own and they seem to be doing so.
From what I have seen over the first couple of days of the policy being in effect, I doubt they will have to do it often.
It seems Saultites are taking to the mask as a normal part of the times we are in, an example I wish some of the centres in the United States would follow.
As of this writing we have only 27 positive cases in the Algoma District, with 25 resolved. Twenty-two of the positive tests have been in the Sault and area. There have been 17,956 tests administered with 16,583 coming out negative. Results are pending on 1,346.
With so many people accepting that the wearing of masks are necessary to keep it that way,
I think we have a far better chance of defeating the virus than they do in the U.S.
I am happy that the U.S.-Canada border is going to remain closed until Aug. 21 because opening the door to American entry to this country could destroy all we have achieved.
Americans at the moment aren’t welcome in Europe or Mexico either and with good reason. Their numbers in regard to those testing positive and deaths are out of sight, by far the worst in the world.
However, I am also happy the border is to remain closed in regard to Canadians as well. I don’t want to see people from our area travelling back and forth over the International Bridge as they did before the coronavirus hit us.
Although Upper Michigan has not been hit as hard as the south, I have no doubt some visitors from this side of the river would pick up the virus and bring it back.
In regard to the wearing of face coverings, although there has been plenty of information offered as to how they work, I am not so sure that everyone got it.
Some still seem to believe that it is to protect the wearer, rather than the other way around.
When you wear a mask you are protecting all those with whom you come in contact. The hope is that they in turn will be wearing a mask to protect you.
To not wear a mask, as far as I am concerned, is to show disrespect to your fellow citizens.
There are some exemptions for people who are unable to wear a face covering but they should at least wear a shield.
I note some in the food industry are using shields instead of masks. I don’t agree with this.
I believe all workers handling food should be required to wear a full face covering to prevent the spread of droplets.
The shields may prevent droplets from coming directly at a customer, but they don’t prevent the droplets from sliding off the shield and onto the food being processed and delivered to the customer.
While APH’s policy in the Sault seems to be having the desired effect, I still would like to see Premier Doug Ford make the wearing of masks mandatory throughout the province as all towns and cities may not take to them as well as the residents of the Sault have.
I believe this is the best way of keeping the virus at Bay throughout the province.
In the main I believe the premier has done a good job in fighting the virus, but to not take this step puts him in league with U.S. President Donald Trump and some Republican governors, who will not take this step even though the virus is cutting a wide swath through the population.
In any event, I think a grand hurrah goes out to the people of the Sault for accepting the wearing of the mask without complaint. It shows a maturity and thought process that seems to be missing in many of our American neighbours, where some even carry weapons to protests in the few areas the wearing of masks has been mandated