LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
There is no reason that you know of as to why someone doesn’t wear a mask or why they are inclined to take their mask off while on public transportation. And obviously, the 200,000 masks previously issued by the City of Ottawa/OCTranspo weren’t enough.
There is no reason our tax dollars need to be allocated to the enforcement of mask wearing on public transportation. If OC/City want to ensure mask-wearing than they should be dishing them out at every transit stop during operational hours, and 7-days a week. The policing of its citizens and enforcement of mask-wearing are not prevention. Your OCTranspo ‘wannabe police’ are not saving us or protecting us or curbing any wave, and certainly won’t prevent YOU or your drivers from getting COVID-19. It is here to stay!
I have seasonal allergies and post nasal drip. I’m going through a body cleanse and am hacking up all kinds of stuff because that’s what my body does during a cleanse. Sometimes I wear a mask and sometimes I don’t. But I wear a mask for me, not for you.
A better use of your ‘mask police’ would be to give out regulated N-95 W.H.O recommended masks or washing down the interior of the buses and rail cars every 15- 30mins during operational hours. Why not increase the frequency of the bus schedules so taxpayers can accommodate the 2m physical distancing rule while seated on the buses? Why are there no plastic sheets in between the passenger seating on public transit? Your transit drivers are surrounded by plastic sheeting. You can’t get more ‘white male privilege’ than that!!!! Why not the passengers? Why are you favoring your own? That would be considered discrimination rather than prevention, don’t you think?
Was it the intention of OC/City Planners to further burden the healthcare system by forcing taxpayers to get medical notes to challenge these by-law tickets in court? Ridership is at an all time low because people have either lost their jobs and businesses, are studying virtually, or they are working from home. What survey was conducted or assessment have you done in Ottawa that determined that the only course of action at this time was to activate your Batman crews to enforce mask wearing on public transit?
Do we really need enforcement and protection from all those very, very few people who actual ride public transportation and even fewer who are not wearing masks? Or do we need protection from your corruption, denial, discrimination and willful ignorance? Passengers are not your enemy. People who don’t wear masks are not your enemy. Fear is your enemy!
What kind of mask is OCTranspo and the City enforcing, anyway? Are your ‘mask police’ enforcing those lame unregulated homemade masks that you wear that give you a false sense of security that you won’t get COVID or pass it on because you think you’re being a stellar citizen by wearing it? These same masks that the W.H.O cautioned public health officials could turn into a false sense of security and safety in the transmission of the virus?
People who are on fixed incomes who can’t afford masks, or who don’t have sewing machines, or who wear the same mask over and over again because they can’t afford new ones, are stellar people too. Your white privilege isn’t allowing you to see them as the stellar people that they are. They need our support and protection not our condemnation.
I want to thank one of your public transit drivers for inspiring me to write this letter. You have hit an all time low, and I didn’t realize it until I wrote this letter. This is what fear does. It doesn’t make heroes. It makes fools and the lame even lamer! These are times of compassion, understanding, collaboration and innovation. These are not times of force and coercion.