I've mostly wanted to stay out of the debate about wearing a mask.
I'm a teacher in British Columbia, Canada, and last spring when we were told to take our classes online for the duration of the year, I felt all the emotions that I'm sure everyone else did as well: fear, apprehension, confusion, anxiety, and fatigue.
However, we successfully "flattened the curve," through quarantining and self-isolation. Then we came to the end of the summer and suddenly cases started to spike once again.
Yet, the government, and I believe most people, did not want to have the same shut down we experienced in the spring. It was devastating for people's mental health, economic health, and nationally for economic stability.
So, what do we do?
Enter the discussion about masks. Now, I know there are a lot of feelings about it. There are folks that believe the whole covid illness is a plot for progressives to take over the world, and so they see wearing masks as the first baby step in getting the populous to follow societal pressure and rules.
Of course, this is wrong. The laws surrounding wearing masks, I consider to be "seatbelt laws". In Canada, you are required, by law, to wear a seatbelt for your own safety. Most people, when they get into a car, do not expect to get into an accident and need that seatbelt to protect them. The same logic applies to wearing a mask. When I go out in public, I do not expect that I am going to need a mask to help prevent me from catching covid. So if you believe the mask law is to condition you to follow the rules, you need to realize you have already been conditioned by the numerous "seatbelt laws" that already exist.
Which brings up the notion that there are people that don't believe the masks help in preventing the transmission of the virus. However, the logic in this is flawed as well. We would have to ask why we require surgeons to wear masks when they operate on people? The answer is simple, we don't want to risk that they have an infection and that they will spread it to other people. So, in the case of us, the populace wearing masks, at the very least, we wear them to help prevent the transmission of the virus.
Now, I personally do not like wearing a mask, and I don't like other people wearing masks, because I am partially deaf and I never realized how much I depend on seeing people's lips move to understand what they are saying to me. And, I am thus far happy, that as a teacher, we are not required to wear it while teaching (I know there are many others that disagree with this notion, even the BCTF). However, if and when it is mandated, I will follow the rules, because that is what it means to be a good citizen.
Honestly, I'm curious why people are protesting wearing a mask; I know many of them don't believe the virus is real: so then, wear a mask to prevent the transmission of the flu, until *your coronahoax is over (sic). We have seen an incredibly decrease in the number of people with the flu this season, and its probably because we are wearing masks, washing hands, and self-isolating.
So, my conclusion: could the government have handled the response COVID-19? Yes, I'm sure there could have been, and even still could be. But for God's sake, wear a mask because you are part of our country and it is being asked of you.