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LETTER: There is only one side to the mask argument: wear it outside or inside – according to the guidelines

"No, not all subjects are up for grabs with one opinion or option as good as another."

The pandemic has already claimed two million lives around the globe, almost 20,000 in Canada, 100,000 in the UK, and almost 440,000 in the US. In some areas the proportion per capita is even greater. Jack Lewis van den Berg seems to think it is conceivable the lockdowns and restrictions have taken a higher toll, but gives no evidence for that. He also mistakenly believes all but the elderly have near immunity. The evidence rather seems to support the idea that  safety protocols can only be faulted for not being strict or extensive enough, not because they were introduced. The infection and death rate went up whenever these were relaxed, and they had to be re-introduced so as not to overwhelm hospital emergency services under extreme stress everywhere. The public, including religious institutions have given overwhelming support for safety guidelines and mandates, but a few holdouts jeopardized everyone else, and continue to. The kindest term for these is “selfish”.

In answer to my questioning look a young man explained he wasn’t wearing a mask because he would live or die according to God's will. This occurred at a grocery store late in the evening last month.  There were few customers so the danger was minimal. But his attitude was worrisome. Did his God also have jurisdiction over my life and that of others? And isn’t it a little presumptuous, even blasphemous, to assume God runs interference against human negligence, even callous stupidity? Why have or observe any rules, in that case?

No, not all subjects are up for grabs with one opinion or option as good as another. People who don’t believe in stop lights have no right on the roads. One person’s negligence regarding SARS CoV-2 with its mysterious and threatening variations jeopardizes many others, perhaps thousands. Under the circumstances, ignorance is intolerable.

Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert

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