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When masks get in the way of lighting up

Just some random observations, many of them dealing with COVID and masks.

I am used to seeing people in Prince George who have to light up a cigarette within a millisecond of leaving a store. I am growing used to seeing people ripping their mask off within a millisecond of leaving a store.

What I would have believed impossible was seeing someone with their mask off and a cigarette already going within two steps of leaving a store. What makes it even more interesting is that I believe shortness of breath is described as one of the symptoms of COVID, but if you smoke, how do you tell if your shortness of breath is because of smoking or COVID?

I also saw a couple of people this week who seem to feel the mask not only protects them from COVID, but from a lot of other things. I saw one woman walk down the sidewalk to a street corner, looking at her cellphone, step off the curb without even looking, then glared at the driver who had to slam on her brakes to avoid running into the woman with a cellphone taking up all her attention.

But, the woman with the cellphone was obviously thinking, I’m wearing my mask, so I should be safe.

I have also seen a few posts on Facebook wondering if the provincial government is going to have extra police forces out over the holidays. They say if the police are going to be asked to keep an eye on how many people are getting together for family gatherings, they obviously will also be asked to keep an eye on Boxing Day sales, making sure the lines of people outside the store are maintaining social distancing, and then keeping track inside the store to make sure they don’t exceed their medically-approved capacity.

It’s obviously a difficult job, but if the government wants to show it’s serious about rules restricting the number of people who can gather in one place, it’s one that has to be done.

On the other hand, if we see the usual coverage of large masses of people clogging the aisles of the big stores on Boxing Day, it will be clear the provincial government is saying, “Hey, we’ve got these rules, but if you don’t want to follow them, not a problem.”

Which means if that happens, a lot of restaurants and other stores can re-open right away, because the provincial government will be saying their rules have no meaning.

Going to be an interesting few weeks.

What do you think about this story?