OPINION: Wear your mask, Squamish — the second wave is here | Squamish Chief

OPINION: Wear your mask, Squamish — the second wave is here

With the second wave of COVID-19 in full swing, we should all put on masks when gathering in indoor public areas. We should also get our flu shots.

These are very simple things to do, yet they are still causes of controversy. They shouldn’t be.

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Anyone watching the news will hear of a number of reports in B.C. and throughout the world where punches have been thrown, because people don’t want to put on their masks.

In Surrey, there was a recent case of an all-out brawl stemming from a person who didn’t want to mask up on a bus, where masks have become mandatory.

Luckily for us in Squamish, there haven’t been any documented cases of this happening. But it shouldn’t take punches for us to start paying attention to the need to wear a mask.

The second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping the province, and the numbers are going up.

We all know that. There have been several cases of exposures in local schools. There have been exposures at local businesses.

As of the start of the morning of Sept. 5, there have been about 9,300 cases, 7,800 recovered, and 238 deaths provincewide.

From the beginning of the year until Oct. 1, there have been 656 cases in the North Shore-Coast Garibaldi region, which encompasses Squamish, Whistler, North and West Vancouver, and the Sunshine Coast.

While cases are rising steadily throughout the country, the caseload here locally is still not too bad.

I’m not one who enjoys peddling cliché quotes, but, as JFK said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”

The sun is still shining for us, Squamish.

When we are dealing with a pandemic, we must always be a step ahead. If we wait until the caseload seems ‘bad enough’ for us to act, it will already be too late.

We did a good job of flattening the curve in the spring because we were so careful.

I’m not advocating a societal shut down again, but if we want to have this virus under control — while still going outside our houses — we must mask up.

Furthermore, we must get our flu shots.

The testing system, while greatly improved, will not be able to hold up to all of Squamish getting themselves checked up for flu-like symptoms in the middle of flu season.

With a flu shot, the chances of getting flu-like symptoms are reduced. This will therefore ease the burden on the medical system.

So there it is, plain and simple. Mask up and get your shots.

Otherwise, the next wave will hit us harder than a punch thrown in a transit brawl over masks.

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