Opinion: Wearing a mask incorrectly just as bad as no mask at all

Chris Campbell

I sought the Great Outdoors on Saturday by going up to the trails around the lakes of Whistler.

I popped into one of the village’s shops to rent a bike and a helmet. I was wearing my mask, as usual, and rubber gloves as an extra measure of precaution.

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It was shocking because the staff weren’t wearing masks. In fact, most of the staff at the restaurants in Whistler weren’t wearing masks based on what I saw from all of the servers visible from the patios. Then again, only about 5% of the people in Whistler were wearing masks.

But it was one customer in particular who irked me.

I’m waiting my turn and I notice that the only other person – a mom with her young son - in the bike shop who has a mask is wearing it down on her chin. So not covering either her mask or nose.

She speaking with the clerk and they are about three feet from each other, which is another mistake if you’ve been listening to Dr. Bonnie Henry every single day for the past few months.

Sure, it’s bad that nobody else is wearing masks, but it feels so frustrating when you see someone with a mask on, but having it hang down on their chin, or just covering their mouth.

It’s like they think that just having it in the vicinity of their face is enough of an effort.

Well, it’s not, of course. It’s ridiculous and I was embarrassed just watching it.

But hey, we’re only seeing our COVID-19 cases creep up so why should anyone make an effort? It’s summer, right? We’ve already sacrificed enough, so time to move on, right?

“Make sure your mask is well-fitted over your nose, mouth and chin, and that it is secured to your head with ties or ear loops so that you do not have to adjust frequently,” says Canada’s top public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam. “Try not to touch the mask or your face while wearing the mask, as this is another route of infection. Some people may not realize that masks can become contaminated on the outside. Wash your hands before and after putting on and taking off your mask using soap and water or a Health Canada-approved hand sanitizer. Only you should wear your mask - please do not share it with others.”

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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