A person wears a face mask on a street in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A person wears a face mask on a street in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

LETTER – Wearing a face mask is not a great inconvenience

Dear editor,

Human beings are social animals. If we didn’t have a talent for building social networks and structures, from family units to clans to nations, the species simply would not have thrived. A person alone in the wilderness is very vulnerable and highly unlikely to procreate. We need each other, and we need to know how to get along together.

One of the most important attributes of a strong society is mutual respect for both the individual and for society as a collective. When I am asked to wear a mask I have a choice. It is my right to refuse if I so wish. We don’t live under an authoritarian regime where we are compelled to obey.

But what am I saying about myself if I refuse? I am putting my demand for personal freedom ahead of the need for others to protect themselves. What does it really cost me to wear a mask to help all of society protect itself?

Nobody can say with absolute certainty that they do not have COVD-19. Even a negative test does not guarantee that a person has not been infected since submitting their nose swab sample.

We are entitled to have expectations of each other in order to hold our precious democratic society together. We drive on the right side of the road, we don’t wander into each other’s homes uninvited, we don’t rape each other’s daughters. Why all this fuss over the request to simply cover our mouths and noses when in public? I know I look much better the more of my face I cover which, I presume, is why my wife likes me to wear a beard.

The sooner we put the pandemic behind us the sooner we can get back to living fulfilling social lives as we were meant to do. Let’s all stay safe together.

Ken Kemper,

Comox

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