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I know masks can be hot, stuffy, uncomfortable, and hurt your ears. Pre-pandemic feels like a lifetime ago  where we didn’t wait in lines to go into a store, our favourite store wasn’t shut down because it was deemed non-essential, and for most of us, unless for employment, hadn’t ever worn a face mask.

         Windsor Essex is deemed a “hot spot” for Covid-19 cases. Our numbers of new cases and deaths are on the rise almost daily. Ontario as a whole will enter a lockdown that will last 28 days in hopes of flattening the curve which we did at the beginning of the pandemic. Whether that is too extreme or not extreme enough will be debated, but what I hope we can agree as a whole that if we stay home and if we must go out and wear a mask, we are doing our part to help.

         Our hospitals in Windsor have overflow morgue space in trailers outside in the parking lots, hospital beds in hallways, Covid-19 outbreaks within our hospital and EMS services. Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, PSWs and everyone who works in health care are simply overworked and worn out. We must take this seriously; we must look at the daily Covid-19 numbers and try to attach a person to them. The least we can do is wear a mask when we go to buy our groceries. The cloth and 3-layer surgical masks we wear have not been proven to necessarily protect us against another person’s droplets, however, it has been proven that our masks protect against spreading our own droplets to others. We wear a mask knowing that we are trying to protect our fellow community members in hopes that our neighbours will care about the greater good and wear a mask to protect us as we are them.

         A global pandemic is a time where we put our differences aside and realize that we need to be critical of our actions and think of not only how it will affect ourselves but others as well. Now is not the time to be selfish. The second wave of Covid-19 is proving to be deadlier than the first. I know we are tired, but a little goes a long way. Wearing a mask shows that you are aware of what is going on in your community and country, it shows that you care for our local heroes and in turn in my eyes, makes you a hero as well!

         By now, a lot of us will have heard of someone we know who has either gotten sick with Covid-19 or knows someone who has. It is difficult to put a face to all the numbers we see thrown at us every day, until we truly feel the consequences of our reckless actions. Most of the time, that is going to be at the expense of a loved one. And suddenly, they are not just numbers anymore.

         My plea to you is to continue watching our local, province, and country’s progress and go pick out some cute mask designs. (Even better if they are from a local vendor!) Keep your shopping trips short and essential, make self-care and outside time to get your vitamin D a priority and let’s all keep each other safe. That way, we are all hopefully here long enough to see this come to an end and we can party to celebrate that fact afterwards! Cheers!

Tanya Vigneux

UWindsor '23

I am a Social Work major with a specialization in Women & Gender studies. I am a wife, mom of 2 kids & 2 dog babies.
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