Opinion: ‘Tom in Burnaby’ wants me to shame you over COVID-19

Chris Campbell

I received a compliment recently from New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian over some of my recent blogs holding people to account for following COVID-19 rules.

Julian said people need to be aware of the rules and my columns are one way.

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Not everyone agrees, of course. I’ve received negative comments saying I’m “fear-mongering” over COVID-19, even though it’s killed more than 400,000 people.

One distinction I make is that I don’t feel I’m “shaming” anyone specifically. I don’t photograph their faces or print their names, despite ample opportunities to do so.

“Tom in Burnaby” thinks I’m not going far enough. He wants me to take things to a different level and his argument has some weight.

“Tom in Burnaby” emailed me saying he has seen visual evidence of people violating all recommendations of health officials.

He’s fed up.

“With only 36 per cent of people in B.C. following the rules of COVID-19, maybe it is time to start enforcing the rules because 64 per cent people like this do not believe it is a pandemic,” he wrote. “People keep telling you this over and over, but you stand idly by waiting for the second wave that is predicted. Unless you enforce by shaming people, fining, educating the ignorant, posting pictures of violators in action, absolutely nothing will change. Maybe that is what you all want.”
Pretty strong words.

“Tom in Burnaby” is a senior and is obviously taking this pandemic seriously. After all, seniors are more at risk of dying from COVID-19.

So, do I need to step things up? Do I need to start publishing faces when I see people walking up next to people in store check-out lines without a mask or coughing without covering their mouths? Should I photograph people sitting too close in restaurants?

I have to admit, “Tom in Burnaby” has me fired up.

Let me know what you think.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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