How we’re navigating the mask-no-mask dilemma in Toronto 🇨🇦

Disclaimer: this is an observation about the mask-no-mask situation in my province 🇨🇦. Share your perspective but don’t shame or ridicule anyone please. I’m not afraid to delete or block derogatory comments.

I scanned some headlines the other day and came across one that irked me a little. I’m going to express my view on it here because this is my blog and I do what I want here. The article pointed out that it’s easy to spot a Canadian in an American airport. (I’m not going to link to it, I’m not a fan of that particular newscast.)

How?

Because apparently, Canadians are all wearing masks.

First off, that’s a very generalized statement. Did they count each person? Did they approach each masked individual and ask them if they were Canadian? How about the unmasked ones?

Secondly, so what? What if it’s at least partially true?

If the article specified “all” Canadians in American airports are masked, are they referring to all airports across the continent?

I think not. I think they spun it by taking a snapshot of a well traveled corridor at this time if year and focused primarily on major airports Canadians are known to travel to this time of year.

Here’s something to consider.

The most populated province in Canada is Ontario, where I live. The biggest airport in Canada is Toronto’s Pearson International airport. It stands to reason then that a large percentage of Canadian travelers are flying in and out of the USA via Toronto. (In fact, you can pre-clear customs before departing Toronto which makes landing in the US so much easier when you get to your destination.)

If you’re new here, or not from Canada, you may not know that we suffered 22 months of heavy restrictions and heavy lockdowns (4) which have plunged the collective mental health of people, especially children, into a dire, serious crisis. I know, I have two kids. It plunged many people of all ages into varying degrees of challenge, be it economic, financial, mental or emotional (or all of the above).

What this means is, as everything continues to open up here, Ontario’s inhabitants are more than a little nervous. They are keenly aware that the politicians, heavily influenced by unions in industry, drive the decision-making when it comes to lockdowns and restrictions. These decision-makers are influenced by lack of adequate space and staffing in hospitals to handle waves of illnesses (most currently these novel viruses) and often quickly slam the door shut on all of us at a moment’s notice in the name of preserving a system that has proven unable to function properly even during non-pandemic times.

So let’s assume the article is at least partially correct and that many, even most Canadians, are wearing masks in American, or any airports.

These masked Canadians may do this even if they doubt the effectiveness of long-term mask wearing (some do, some don’t).

Here is how I see it.

Canadian travelers from Ontario are going to carry, and often wear masks because they are petrified we’ll be subjected to another lockdown should the covid waves peak again and the virus spread (which it will, I think we’ve all come to terms about this reality).

Truth be told, I’m tired of the masks myself. But I still carry them with me wherever I go. Mostly I wear one inside certain stores but I’m beginning to make adjustments as I evaluate my circumstances.

For instance, I stepped into four different stores in one day recently, and one hair salon at the end of that day. Three were chains, one was a brick and mortar shop, and the salon was small and independently owned. Most stores have signs encouraging people to wear masks. Legally, it’s optional.

Two of the chain stores (a small drug store and a Dollarama) were relatively busy but not crowded. I wore my mask. The cashiers wore masks. The staff stocking shelves did as well out in the aisles but not in the stockroom which I could see through the open doors.

At the LCBO, where I went to buy a couple of bottles of wine, I did not wear my mask. I saw customers exit the store without masks. The store was large, spacious and not busy. Distancing between people was easy. The two cashiers that were open were shielded behind plexiglass and both wore masks. The security guard, the manager and some of the stock loading staff in the aisles did not wear masks. Seems it was hit and miss, and individual choices were respected.

Side note: what is up with armed security in the booze stores? Is this a new thing? Anyone from Ontario know what that’s about?

In the small vegetable shop, which was crowded and tight with several elderly, masked customers, I wore my mask. Seemed like a no-brainer.

And at the salon, run by two ladies who tended to two elderly, masked customers, my daughter and I also decided to wear our masks. Both hairdressers kept their masks on as well.

Back in the suburbs last week in my mom’s neighbourhood, at the large chain grocery store, few people wore masks on days when it wasn’t particularly busy. Most cashiers didn’t, but some of the staff stocking shelves did.

Yet at the rink, where distancing was possible but not always observed, most people went in maskless. It might be worth saying that until recently, you had to be double-vaccinated to enter the rink and since this is the same season still, we know we’re all vaxxed. But I only saw one parent wearing a mask among a big group of people watching our boys try out, who wore a mask. The parents all stood together as they had been all season, and all of them vaxxed and many of them recovered from covid themselves. Some of my own family went through a relatively mild case of this virus as well, and thankfully we were spared complications.

My point here is, it’s quite possible to be accommodating and respectful toward other people no matter your own beliefs. When my daughter and I entered the salon and saw everyone masked, we didn’t even hesitate, we simply put on the masks and that was that. I didn’t have to, but I didn’t mind.

Now, about the new hair. What do you think?

Thank you for reading my post. 🙂

27 thoughts on “How we’re navigating the mask-no-mask dilemma in Toronto 🇨🇦

  1. I agree with you about the masks. Over here in Lebanon, rarely anyone wears masks. I remained wearing a mask for a long time but when I realized nobody else is wearing and I was fully vaxed and I rarely leave the house anyway and I avoid crowded areas and don’t hug people anymore, I stopped wearing it for the most part.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello from the UK

    Many thanks for your post and the information. Masks are certainly useful against dust, sand, sawdust and diesel fumes. Surgeons can wear them to stop them sneezing or coughing bacteria into an open wound.

    But masks cannot prevent Covid 19 as this is the internal toxicosis of the body, essentially urea poisoning via your metabolism of food and exacerbated by the many external poisons in the environment.

    The real pandemic is vitamin D deficiency, a real problem in those countries where there has been an increased living and working indoors. However, as this does not make much money for big pharma they are not too keen on it of course.

    I did a page on masks which I consider humorous to try and make these points in another way. If you are interested here is the link.

    https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/m-is-for-masks/

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson
    Please excuse the nom-de-plume, this is as much for fun as a riddle for people to solve if they wish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You two entered the salon already gorgeous, and exited in the same condition, maybe with an added sparkle. or two.
    Masks seems to be a non issue these days, at least at the store in which I work. Customers wear them if they want to and this goes for the staff as well. I personally couldn’t wait to get rid of the mask but am respectful of those that still need to wear it and keep my distance and don’t get in their personal space.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful mama and daughter! A trip to a salon is such a treat for me. I go infrequently, for budget reasons, and noticed a definite change in pandemic protocol during my last visit 5 months ago.
    But never mind my salon. What the heck is going on with armed security in liquor stores there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been educated that they are not armed, i.e. no loaded guns. They do have similar gear in as the armed officers on their bodies (vests, etc)…

      Apparently there has been an increase in theft. I wouldn’t know, I’m neither a booze thief nor a frequent shopper there… 🤷‍♀️

      Like

  5. Cute hair!! 😍 When are you gonna put some vibrant color on that blond?? I’m thinking magenta or royal blue 😉

    I’ve been going maskless except at my doctor for a while. I purposely go to stores when they’re least busy cuz ewwww… people 😱 I see occasional people with masks, but it’s whatever. I think unless another variant pops up that evades our vaccines, or I’m going to be around compromised people, I’m done with the mask… for MY sake.
    If it were required, or asked of me… DUH! I can be polite😝

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here is the thing about security at the LCBO (liquor store). They are often targeted for theft…brazenly targeted. A thief will enter and start loading up a duffle bag with the most expensive alcohol that isn’t locked up–Grey Goose etc. The staff there are in a difficult position because a confrontation can lead to a lot of broken glass–dangerous and expensive. So, armed security are the answer…but thieves are smart enough to just show up at other times.
    The losses are quite large and since they are a provincially owned and operated company (unless Ford decides to sell it????) that cuts into profits and forces them to raise already high prices.
    I suspect it would be better to do surveillance, pursue to a more secluded destination for arrest, discourage potential customers (bars specifically) from making these purchases etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to shop there regularly but have reduced significantly in recent years so I’m trying to think back if I saw security guards 4, 5 years ago… maybe in some locations, but not at all locations. Now, they’re in all of them in my orbit. It’s… weird. But you explain it well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Here, the legal obligation to wear a mask is largely gone except in certain specific situations (on trains being the one that I notice most) but I still find myself instinctively picking up a mask whenever I go anywhere.

    Usually, I don’t need it and it just sits in my back pocket, but if wearing one ever does look appropriate, it’s nice to know I have it to hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The hair looks fabulous!

    When I was in hospital, the patients didn’t have to wear masks, I guess because we’d all been tested when we first got in. When I was discharged, I was already used to not wearing one, so I’ve just stuck with that. I don’t go out much and I haven’t been in anywhere crowded, though, andI do still carry one with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The media are trying to create news. I’ve noticed that story lines are worded in just such a way as to spark debate, or worse. I’ve seen a continued mix down here and it’s all ages that choose to wear their mask. To each his own.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so tired of mark wearing being used as a political divide. My husband has underlying health conditions and wears his when he’s in a large crowd. I’m relatively healthy and have relaxed my use since I’m fully vaccinated and boosted, but still don one at my nail salon and other close quarter contact areas. There should be no shame, stigma or harassment as long as state/country regulations are followed. We all need to do what we can to keep ourselves and others safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I haven’t been wearing a mask for a while, but I might in an airport/airplane. So many people! I certainly wouldn’t shame anyone. As an aside, there are a lot of Asians in my area, and they tend to wear masks more than others. I never heard that about Canadians until your post…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When the mask restrictions were dropped in MB, most people in store continued to wear them. That percentage have slowly dropped and now masks are in the minority, but still prominent. I still wear mine because it’s better than getting sick.
    We had an increasing rate of robberies two years ago at for liquor stores. Private security workers were told not to take any risks to stop the thieves. what happened? Duh, more thefts. We now have entrance vestibules at each store where the guard behind glass checks ID before you enter. Because of Covid, you had to wait outside to get buzzed in to maintain distancing (sucks in January). I suspect that will be continued even when all restrictions are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.