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Locals React to the Mask Mandate Stopping by the End March

Mandates Set to End Provincially by March 21st

The Ontario government is said to be dropping the mask mandate by the end of March according to Doug Ford and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran. Dr. Kieran commented Wednesday morning at Queen’s Park, “ We are now learning to live with and manage COVID-19 for the long term. This necessitates a shift to a more balanced response to the pandemic.”

The public seems to be split in opinion-whether or not the mask mandate is ending too soon. “I think it’s too soon personally to be lifting the mask mandate, considering just two months ago people were desperately trying to get a booster,” comments 23-year-old Ailish a local resident, who is concerned by the mandate change. Ailish also comments, “it seems as if the end of the mask mandate is approaching way too soon, and many people will be concerned about it, especially in public areas.”

Ailish also shared with Acton UP that she has many high-risk people in her life and that she is concerned for the fate of their health when the mandate lifts. However, many individuals feel relieved now that the mandate will be ending and feel a sense of hope for normality once again. 18-year-old Ingrid comments,

“Since finding out the masking mandate is lifting, I’ve felt really happy. I think this should have happened a long time ago. Since the beginning of this pandemic, masks should have been a personal choice, like all the other aspects of our lives. I don’t think governments should take away our bodily autonomy at any time.”

Although Ingrid is for the mask mandate ending, she believes that it should be up to public discretion whether or not they choose to wear a mask, for Ingrid, it is the choice that is most important. “Hopefully this decision marks the end of mandates in Canada so that we can start living our lives like normal again!”

The mandate is set to lift for the majority of businesses and locations, however it is currently unknown which locations will still need masks to be worn. 26-year-old Elliott hopes that the mandate will remain in close-contact locations where social distance is hard to maintain, such as places like schools or concert venues. A musician himself, Elliot comments,

“While I’ve definitely thought the mask mandate was valid throughout much of the pandemic, I believe that it loses its validity when settings like restaurants and concert venues are open. Even with the mandate lifting, I will personally continue to wear a mask in various public and social settings like on public transit.”

Elliot continues,

“But I think given the fact that there are various congregate settings where people can freely conduct themselves without a mask, it doesn’t really make sense to have this mandate in place that definitely frustrates a small fraction of society that is opposed to the government implementing this sort of policy.”

Similar to Ingrid, Elliot suggests that the mask mandate should be up to public discretion, Elliot also remarks, “I think businesses and organizations should be allowed to mandate a mask for their organization, I just think the government's implementation is a bit worn out given the political climate.”

As of yet, we do not have much information regarding the details of the lift of mask mandates, however more news is said to come throughout the upcoming week.


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