From the editor: I’m begging you

J. René Roy is seasoned book editor, trained photographer and diehard Montreal Canadiens hockey fan. You can e-mail him at rjroy@wreckhousepress.com or follow him on twitter where he posts terrible Dad jokes as @hfxhabby.

I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, but at the same time I really feel the need to preach. So bear with me.

The second wave of COVID-19 is raging across the country, and across the planet as a whole.

If you feel it doesn’t affect you then consider this – I was scheduled to get my son for the holidays, but now due to a huge surge of cases in Nova Scotia that is very much up in the air. I don’t know if he will get home for Christmas this year, and it will be devastating for our entire family now that the Atlantic bubble has been burst.

Deer Lake is under a form of lock down with spread being found in a school there. As a parent I’m prone to worrying about all children.

In the first wave, we had almost no cases on the West Coast, but this time, it has already gotten closer.

Vigilance is more important than ever, and masks and social distancing help to keep everyone safe. This is the reason behind the provincial law mandating wearing a mask in public. This has been required by provincial law since August 24, so it is not new.

Yes it is uncomfortable, yes it sucks, and yes my glasses fog up. But I wear a mask. I wear it because I have no choice.

It’s the law, and it’s the one thing keeping me from encountering someone who might have gotten off the ferry and decided to get a bag of chips or put away the gas pump before I reach for it.

I don’t know who is in a store, who has coughed in an aisle, and who is asymptomatic but has COVID-19 and is spreading it.

That makes it all the more infuriating when I enter a business in this province, and the staff do not enforce the mandate to wear a mask. Most of the time they don’t even abide by their own posted signage, such as limiting how many people can be inside at one time, or following the directional arrows on the floors.

If a bank or a government office says that the lobby is limited to three or four people, then I wait outside until I’m able to enter. But I have been in lines where there are suddenly half a dozen people or more or someone wanders around aimlessly. I’ve yet to witness anyone on staff say anything to the violators of these rules.

I have walked into a gas station, and seen a town employee standing at the counter chatting with no mask on, yet he still gets served without any correction by the staff. This is far more common that you might think.

I can count more than a dozen times in the last two weeks that I’ve been in a business where someone has no mask on.

If we are to remain free of COVID-19 here, then its our responsibility to make sure we wear a mask, and if we don’t have one, then we do NOT enter a place of business.

Frankly, if staff at the stores in this province don’t want to offend a customer by saying “get out” or “wear a mask”, then the efforts of those of us who are worried or outright terrified of this disease are useless. Further to that, it also tells me that the staff at some stores care more about a potential sale than a potential death.

Please, I’m begging you… just wear a mask. Thank you.

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