(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

EDITORIAL: Defying COVID-19 restrictions can be deadly

Provincial directives have been put in place to slow the spread of the surging pandemic

Opposition to British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions are puzzling and disappointing.

In recent weeks, anti-mask rallies have become increasingly common throughout the province.

Fortunately in the Comox Valley, the rallies have been poorly attended, as common sense prevails, at least for the time being.

(That’s not to say the Valley is without its naysayers. One look at the editor’s incoming email will testify that there are plenty of wilfully ignorant people in our community.)

Some people have chosen to defy mask regulations in more unpleasant ways, taking out their frustrations and anger on retail and restaurant staff attempting to abide by health regulations that dictate that masks must be worn in enclosed spaces such as businesses and public transit.

In the Lower Mainland, some churches have defied a province-wide ban on gatherings and have continued to hold in-person services.

These incidents are increasing, even as the number of new COVID-19 cases and related deaths are on the rise.

The provincial directives have been put in place to slow the spread of the surging pandemic.

Wearing a mask and avoiding public gatherings may be inconvenient and annoying, but contracting COVID-19 can be fatal.

At present, Canada has recorded more than 470,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 13,600 deaths. The mortality rate in Canada is roughly 2.8 per cent, and among those who have recovered, some continue to have lingering health issues, affecting their long-term quality of life.

This pandemic is a deeply serious matter.

Holding anti-mask rallies and public gatherings can increase the risk of people contracting the virus, and further loss of life.

As Canadians, we have the right to our opinions, including the right to disagree with policies and laws in place. However, the right to disagree does not give one the right to violate laws and orders.

Freedom, as former prime minister John Diefenbaker once said, is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.

Not everyone will like the restrictions imposed because of this pandemic, but defying the directives can put yourself and others at dire risk.

— Black Press

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