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There’s been a lot of controversy about wearing a mask and social distancing during these pandemic times.

I could look up a lot of facts in order to write an article in support of both of these important steps to observe. But I’m not going to do that. I want to address the underlying un-scientific reasons of why we need to observe these proactive, life-saving protocols.

It has become such a polarizing subject, with people feeling that the other “side” is completely wrong in their way of thinking. I could cite one rational argument after another, backing up the importance of masking-up and social distancing. But there are already a mind-boggling number of articles, papers, blogs and posts out there on the internet on the subject. And anyone with many hours to spare can do a deep-dive of their own, accessing the science that backs up these key concepts.

What triggered my desire to write this article was an innocent comment made to me regarding social distancing. I can’t recall it verbatim, but basically, it was as follows: “It would have been rude to not get a little closer than 6 feet” (in order to accept a gracious, home-made gift from a friend and neighbour). Keep in mind that neither were wearing masks and these are good friends that have been careful to observe social distancing for the past 10 months, only visiting outside while walking a minimum of 6 feet apart.

But this is the reality of our current “normal” — the terms “I respect you”, “I value you”, and “I care for you” have quite a different meaning right now. That’s why I mask up and social distance myself from you. Even if I don’t know you, I respect you enough that I will give you your space and wear a mask if I think I am close enough to breathe on you. Even if you don’t wear a mask or social distance due to whatever beliefs you hold to be true, I value your health and life regardless.

Even if I don’t know you, I respect you enough that I will give you your space and wear a mask

And I know that a true friend, a neighbour, an acquaintance or even a stranger,  will see how much I care about them due to my staying 6 feet away and staying masked-up around them.

Like the majority of us, this has left me feeling a little sad and lonely at times. But that’s okay. Because my life and everyone’s around me, is worth these small sacrifices. Better times could be around the corner and we all want to be there in order to enjoy them.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the BC Emergency Medicine Network.


Nicely said Kim. Masks have sure been a lightning rod since the early days of the pandemic last spring. I have been an early supporter, but have resisted wearing them outside on walks. But I do now because, when I walk with a friend, it is really hard to have a good conversation while being 6 feet apart. i have had some pushback on that, but I am seeing more and more social walkers wearing masks. I cannot wait until the day when we can all see smiles again!

Nancy Wood

January 23, 2021 • 12:33pm

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