Wear a mask in public at all times

Wednesday, April 8 2020

There are growing concerns that COVID-19 can be spread through talking or even just breathing. For this reason, more and more governments in the US and around the world are making the wearing of masks, in public, mandatory.

If you are in an enclosed space with others, even when maintaining social distance, there is evidence there is risk. On March 10, 56 members of a choir in Mt. Vernon, WA, met for a rehearsal. The hall was large, they kept their distance, no one touched each other, they all had their own music and they all sanitized their hands. No one felt sick. Of the 56, 45 caught the virus. Two have died. 

This past week, even our own public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said cloth masks can prevent us from spreading COVID-19. The US is poised to implement everyone wearing masks there as policy. In Czech Republic, it is the law that everyone wear a mask when out in public. In that country, people mobilized and made millions of cloth masks in a matter of days. 

On Gabriola, we should all be wearing masks in public. When in the grocery, post office, wherever. As I type this, there are people on our island busy sewing masks. Cloth masks - which are reusable and need to be washed regularly.

It is very important that we not be wearing - or buying for personal use - medical N95 masks at this time. Those must be reserved for our healthcare workers, first responders and anyone else at the frontlines. Cloth masks are not as effective, but they do have some efficacy.

#masksforall is fast becoming a thing. There are a lot of creative people on this island and I hope that many will join in the work of mask-making for all Gabriolans.

~ Corbin Keep