More than three months after Airdrie City council passed its pre-emptive mask bylaw, the rule officially went into effect Nov. 6.
The bylaw was not enacted sooner because it was only to be triggered if Alberta Health Services placed Airdrie under “enhanced” status due to the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, Airdrie was placed under that designation last week, when the local number of active COVID-19 cases spiked to triple digits for the first time since the pandemic began.
We feel the bylaw should have been enacted sooner. As of writing, Airdrie’s number of active cases is 247, meaning the number of COVID-19 patients in the city has nearly doubled in just a few days. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20, but many people – including us – feel the bylaw should have been put in place after the city reached 35 cases – the number that triggered “watch” status.
Anti-maskers can argue all they want about masks violating individual rights or claim they are ineffective against the coronavirus, but it’s time for these people to grow up. They have to realize governments make decisions about collective health and safety based on the opinions of experts. Those experts have repeatedly said masks are an important component of our collective efforts to flatten the curve, not because they'll prevent you from catching the virus but because they'll stop you from spreading it.
No reasonable person would argue that driving impaired should be a personal choice. While not as egregious, refusing to wear a mask is comparable in its logic – it’s making a reckless personal decision that potentially puts the health and safety of other people in danger.
The politicization of masks during this pandemic has been ridiculous. No one argued against being told to wash their hands for 20 seconds, but for some reason, being told to cover your face is suddenly seen as an affront to liberty.
It’s time to mask up.