Opinion: Too many Burnaby residents wearing face masks all wrong

We seem to have finally settled the issue about if we should wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, right?

Well, I’m still not completely sure because there is a lot of conflicting information out there from our health professionals. From what I have gleaned, wearing a face mask probably doesn’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, but if you have it – and perhaps don’t have symptoms – then it could prevent it from spreading.

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So I wear a mask when I am out in public. But am I wearing it correctly? And are you?

When I say mask, I’m not talking about a medical mask for a N95 respirator. Those should be reserved for medical professionals.

For other masks, sadly I see too many people wearing them incorrectly.

No, I haven’t seen people like that American woman captured on a video with the centre of the mask cut out because it was “too hot” on her face. Thankfully, people in Burnaby seem to be smarter than that.


But I have seen people wearing their masks upside down. I can tell because the wire is supposed to be on the top.

Others have the mask only over their nose, with their mouth unprotected.

Then there are those who have the mask pulled down so it only covers their mouth.

And, finally, there are those who have the mask pulled down so it’s just resting on their chin.

I see this and I want to tear my hair out. A few times, I’ve made a polite suggestion that the mask should cover their nose and mouth, and have been met with dirty looks. People just don’t want to hear the truth.

Then I see people wearing the mask correctly, but they are constantly fiddling with it and touching the front with their fingers over and over again. I think wearing these masks gives people a false sense of security. It’s not enough to just put one on.



I get that the masks are uncomfortable. My opinion of health-care workers is at an all-time high when I think about how some of them wear these masks 10 to 12 hours a day when I can barely stand wearing one for five minutes in a grocery store.

Getting used to wearing one while out and about takes discipline and patience – two things that are often in short supply in my brain.

But it’s important so I am diligent while wearing one. You should be, too, otherwise what’s the point of wearing it?

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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