Even the Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)

Even the Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)

Letter: Wear a mask

Letter to the editor from head of Okanagan - Skaha Teacher’s Union

Please, talk about masks

Let’s set aside the argument about whether mask-wearing is an effective measure to diminish the impact of Covid-19. Frankly, the reputable science on this overwhelmingly clear. From The Mayo Clinic to the Centers for Disease Control in numerous countries, the message is clear.

Wear a mask.

Considered the premier medical research journal in the world, The Lancet, published an exhaustively researched study in June. It was absolutely clear.

Wear a mask.

Anyone stating that there is a conspiracy needs to look at the insurmountable pile of evidence. A global conspiracy that involves a majority of the scientific and medical community is an incredible claim, and certainly, one that has not been backed up by any evidence.

Still, let’s leave aside the science and, for a moment, humour those who chose “alternative facts”. Come along as we enter the world of pretend, while we examine mask wearing for no scientifically proven benefit.

“Why are you wearing that mask Frank? It won’t do any good!” Well, those with underlying health conditions gain a level of comfort when we are wearing masks in the grocery store, or pharmacy.

No frontline retail worker will be put in the situation of having to ask a grumpy curmudgeon to please follow the posted rule regarding wearing a mask.

See, even if we play pretend, and discount the science, it’s a decent thing to do that shows consideration and care for others in our community.

Wear a mask.

Because I’ve spent ninety percent of my life in school, either as a student or a teacher, I also often ask myself, “What are we teaching?”

When we wear a mask, we are teaching that we care about the group, the community, our society. We are teaching that we should listen to the experts who back their statements up with fact, not to those who simply shout their dissent, while providing nothing more than an empty, pitiful whine that their rights are being infringed. Wear a mask.

There are those amongst the dedicated conspiracy theorists and self-appointed defenders of my rights that would charge me with silencing any criticism. To those I say, far from silencing dissenting views, I encourage discussion.

However, when a mountain of fact is placed in your lap and you still demand that you are entitled to your opinion, well, no, you are not. If your opinion is that gravity is not keeping your feet on the ground, then you are not only wrong, but you also do not understand the concept of an opinion.

Wear a mask.

Finally, I’d like to encourage all of those who agree to discuss mask-wearing with those you care about, particularly children and young people of school age. We must take the steps necessary to keep our community safe, along with keeping schools open. To do that, we should provide a simple message to everyone who enters a public building, a retail outlet, or a school.

Wear a mask.

Kevin Epp

Local President – 67 – Okanagan-Skaha Teachers’ Union

Letter to the Editor