A Diss to Non-Maskers

What is Wrong With You? No, Really.

Though masking is not mandatory, students should still be taking steps to keep their community safe. Graphic Alexandra Nackley

As I am writing this, I have one mask left in its box. I’ll be using it to buy another box at the Jean Coutu down the street.

Even though the government has stopped enforcing them, and COVID-19 seems like a distant fever dream to some, they’ve now become a part of my necessary purchases. Masks work and help protect me from the countless people I’ve heard cough violently around me.

It’s just logical. I shop, commute, sit in class and participate in events with a mask on. Never did I think they were too much, or a bother, or useless. Masks should be always worn in public spaces because it is the smart thing to do.

Those who don’t think so are not, well, smart. 

I stand on the first floor of the CJ building at Loyola and wait for the elevator to come down. To my right, the lounge area is crowded with maskless students, spitting in each other’s faces about topics I could care less about. To my left, more students enter the building, effortlessly ignoring the mask dispensary next to the door, bump into each other, pick at their faces and head off somewhere, far from me I hope. Behind me, multiple people are also waiting for the elevator. Their voices are painfully clear. The elevator dings, opens and reveals two students who promptly step out, faces all too revealed for my liking. 

It’s shocking. It’s ridiculous. It’s laughable. Masking is so natural to me, I almost did forget that the students I study with need rules to enforce them into doing the smart thing.

In an interview with The Link, President Graham Carr said that COVID-19 measures won’t be re-introduced until the government brings them back. However, with the ongoing election, the CAQ’s position on mask mandates is unlikely to change. According to Santé Québec, we have seen almost a thousand daily cases over the last few days (September 19, 20, 21 and 22). Since PCR testing is no longer available to the general public, the numbers are probably much higher. 

The administration should at the bare minimum continue to enforce masking in its facilities at all times. It worked generally well for the previous semesters, and if it’s what it takes to have students, professors (and yes, a lot of professors also aren’t masking) and faculty to wear masks again, so be it. Hand sanitizing should also be obligatory, but behold, some people might have forgotten how to wash their hands, so put up a tutorial poster next to the dispensers, while you’re at it. 

It personally baffles me that something as simple as masking must be made mandatory to be done. Do you, as a non-masker, need to be told to do the morally correct thing? Or are you a fussy toddler who, unless under the careful and strict supervision of its parents, is literally incapable of understanding what it should do with itself?

Perhaps, unfortunately, you are already sick with an illness. One that harms your ability to empathize so severely that you cannot spare a second to think of your immunocompromised peers, your colleagues with at-risk elderly parents, your companions who have lost someone to COVID-19 and those who simply do not want to get sick with a disease with high debilitating potential.