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Opinion: ‘I’m not wearing a diaper’: Burnaby malls bursting with maskless ‘covidiots’

The good news is that mall traffic is surging
mask maskless anti-mask lougheed mall
A man not wearing a mask sitting in Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby.

I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news for you.

The good news is that shopping malls are bustling again with customers after so many terrible months due to COVID-19.

The bad news is that too many maskless covidiots are joining them to openly defy public health orders for indoor public spaces.

Now that I’m double-vaccinated – and waiting patiently for my third shot – I decided to do some shopping at Lougheed Town Centre, the Amazing Brentwood and Metropolis at Metrotown as I whittled down my Christmas list as much as possible.

It was a hectic day hitting three malls, but you gotta get an early start on the shopping list. That’s the veteran move.

Sadly, at each mall I witnessed too many covidiots wandering the mall without masks – or their masks pull down under their chins.

I decided to ask a few of them about why they weren’t wearing a mask. I thought perhaps they had forgotten, but I wasn’t optimistic.

“I’m not wearing a diaper on my face,” said one smirking dude who looked old enough to know better.

Others just walked away. One even gave me the finger for good measure.

That’s what we’re dealing with right now. It’s good that case numbers are dropping, but we’re still seeing way too many people in hospital – mostly because they are unvaccinated.

As I said, the good news is that local stores are seeing an uptick in shopping.

Accenture Canada’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Survey released Thursday found "adults with kids who believe in Santa" are expected to spend the most this season, followed by parents in general and Baby Boomers.

"There’s a real generosity of spirit," said Suzana Colic, a retail consulting leader at Accenture Canada. "More consumers will be spending more this holiday season."

Canadians will spend an average of $635 in 2021, an increase of $119 or more than 23 per cent compared with 2020, Accenture found.

Deloitte Canada’s 2021 Holiday Retail Outlook suggested spending could be even higher. The report found Canadians are expected to spend an estimated $1,841 on the holidays, an increase of 31 per cent compared with 2020 and eight per cent above 2019.

With larger budgets and declining pandemic concerns, shoppers are expected to make a big return to malls and brick-and-mortar stores, JLL Canada's 2021 Retail Holiday Survey said. 

It found 85 per cent of consumers will return to shopping centres, with curbside pickup remaining popular among "intentional buyers."

The survey also said Canadians are expected to spend 11 per cent more on gifts, while spending on holiday-related merchandise will jump 15 per cent. 

So good news for businesses who have struggled. Bad news for people in public health who have to deal with all these new cases.

- With files from the Canadian Press