Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, made the recommendation Wednesday that all Canadians should wear a non-medical mask when they cannot maintain a two-metre physical distance from others.
After two months of adjusting to the novel circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, some Canadians realized they’d have to make another adaptation to their daily lives.
“Although we don’t fully understand their role in transmission, it is an added layer of protection,” Dr. Tam said.
1/2 Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is recommended when not possible to maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others like on public transit or in stores & crowded places. Face coverings should fit well & be worn safely.— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) May 21, 2020
2/2 However, non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not appropriate for everyone, such as young children < age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask on their own. More info: https://t.co/a96yJ8KMkh— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) May 21, 2020
It’s difficult to expect a uniform response across the country to the suggestion and as expected, there was a wide range of reactions to Tam’s recommendation, from the good, to the bad, to the WTF!
Whether it’s genuine fear or concern trolling, some believe that Tam’s recommendation is too little, too late.
Too late Dr Tam. You have created a False Sense of Security with your two month narrative that masks mostly bad & 6ft separation is good. Bc of your narrative most think its not too contagious. Lots of inertia now. No evidence 6ft is 100% effective.— georgepetro (@georgepetro5) May 21, 2020
Slightly? We've gone from Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam said that wearing masks when you are well is not an effective measure, to well maybe, to where we are now, thats no slightly, that's a 180. https://t.co/1xm2T9G9SI— Ali Quea (@quea_ali) May 21, 2020
For others, the politicization of the pandemic is an inevitable, if tired, strategy.
Former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury, who posted over a point-per-game throughout his NHL career, had a meltdown, although it appeared to be directed at the Liberal Party’s containment strategy at-large.
This is an absolute disgrace. This is what leadership looks like in Canada. Lies, deceit and corruption. People died because of these decisions. Resign now. Anybody else pissed off after watching this???? This can’t be the future of Canada. Libs need not reply to this. https://t.co/oK7LVRu9Gt— Theo Fleury (@TheoFleury14) May 21, 2020
Of course, we have to entertain the rise of pseudoscience.
Not all the sentiments were full of doom, gloom and derangement, as some Canadians welcomed Tam’s recommendation.
Drs. Bonnie Henry and Theresa Tam have had essentially the same messaging throughout this pandemic. But while one receives near-universal praise, the other has her loyalties questioned and is the subject of multiple campaigns to have her fired.— Andrew Sharon (@andrewjsharon) May 21, 2020
I wonder why that could be?
To those who find themselves randomly enraged (again) toward Dr. Theresa Tam currently:— Dr Vicky Forster (@vickyyyf) May 20, 2020
Scientific recommendations change based on scientific evidence.
There is now more evidence that mask-wearing helps prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV2 than before so advice has changed.
There it is. Yes! Put 'em on. And remember...— Carla Johnson (@Carla_Johnson) May 20, 2020
My mask protects YOU from me.
Your mask protects ME from you.
Not the other way around.
"Dr. Theresa Tam recommends wearing a mask in public" #COVID19 #Masks https://t.co/iUUNtX728Y
Whether you agree, disagree or are indifferent to Tam’s recommendations, masks are quickly becoming a regular component of every day life, especially if we want to enjoy the luxuries that we used to in the Before Times.
Here’s to hoping that Canadians quickly get on board and put their past disagreements, pseudoscience and other inclinations aside.