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About the Mask Debate…

So, I’m just going to be blunt. I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m speaking my mind- you can like it, love it, or hate it.

Yes, masks are now mandatory in some public places. Not a big deal. Let’s put this in perspective. It’s 2020 and we have the option of disposable masks, reusable masks, and masks that show our personality through colours and patterns. Flash back to 1915 on the front lines on World War I where Canadian soldiers outside Ypres, Belgium were wearing urine soaked handkerchiefs to protect them from chlorine gas. We’re complaining about a minor inconvenience that protects our communities but my country’s soldiers had to use unpleasant makeshift “masks” to protect themselves from chemical warfare.

As for the complaints about social distancing and limits on how many people can gather… We have Zoom/Skype/Facetime/Messenger. We can still communicate with out friends and families. Even in places where the internet connection is shoddy, there are landlines so we can speak to our family and friends even if we can’t see them. In both World Wars our soldiers only had snail mail to communicate with loved ones at home. And as for social distancing- they had an ENTIRE OCEAN separating them from their families. Six feet/two meters is nothing compared to what our soldiers and their families faced.

Even these days when our military overseas can communicate with family at home via modern technology, they are still geographically separated by more than 6 ft.

Yeah, it sucks that we can’t see our families. My family didn’t get to celebrate my mom’s birthday together a couple weeks ago. We always spend birthdays together. And my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones but haven’t been able to have a proper funeral. I am NOT saying that these are easy times. And I am not mitigating the hardships that social distancing and limits on gatherings are causing. I understand that these limits on how many people can assemble are causing problems for people who are already in difficult situations.

I think that before we complain about having to wear masks or having to stay 6 ft (2 m) apart we should reflect on the sacrifices that our World War I and World War II soldiers made to give us the right to whine about such trivial inconveniences. We need to step back from whining and do what other people did or are doing- put the “we” before “me”.

Those are my thoughts and opinions, feel free to disagree. But remember that the Allies served and sacrificed to a far greater extent so you have the right to complain about relatively insignificant things such as wearing a mask.

Media

Social Media… the Modern World’s Go-To for News

First, let’s start off by saying that this is NOT a political post. It’s an apolitical post about fact checking using examples involving politicians.

I saw the following post on Facebook when a friend shared it so I went to the original post and that is where I got this screenshot. I cropped out the comments because I don’t want to promote the negativity that was coming from both sides. I decided not to blur the name or profile pic of the original author because he chose to make this is a public post that’s visible to the entire world. That said, please do not look him up and hate on him if you disagree with him. He’s got the right to his opinions and the right to share them in a civilized manner. He’s done nothing wrong.

The post starts off with the original author imploring us to look at this photo of President Donald Trump and “imagine the weight he must be feeling right now” (emphasis added by current author). Although the original author does not specify what is meant by “right now” given that it was posted on 30 March 2020 and references “what we’re currently experiencing” it is reasonable to assume he is talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the end it doesn’t matter what issue he’s talking about because this photo was not taken during “what we’re currently experiencing.”

I ran a reverse image search last night and it turns out that this photo was taken on 14 November 2019. You may remember that the impeachment inquiry that eventually lead to Trump’s impeachment was going on at that time. The downtrodden look is not surprising. But this photo has nothing to do with current events so why share it now???

I saw another post by someone else on 2 April 2020 about Prime Minister Trudeau getting a pay raise on April 1st despite all that is going on with COVID-19. I saw that post on a social media page that tends to be biased so I decided to fact check that claim. Yes, Justin Trudeau got a pay raise on April 1st… in his capacity of Member of Parliament representing the riding of Rideau. In fact, EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT GOT A RAISE ON THAT DAY. Legislation implemented in 2005 entitles MP’s and Senators to a pay raise on April 1st every year. The post neglected to mention that every other MP also got the exact same pay raise as Trudeau and that this wasn’t implemented during a global crisis. And if it’s any consolation to naysayers the leaders of our major parties- Trudeau (Liberal), Scheer (Conservative), and Singh (NDP)- have all volunteered to donate their bonus to charity this year.

What I’m trying to say is that if you read something in the news that vilifies a person or position you dislike and praises a person or position you support do a simple fact check. It may be too good to be true. Check the date that it was posted. Check for the name and contact info of the author and his/her editor. Always use critical thinking and common sense. And just because you saw it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true! If posting something online makes it reality then Elvis is alive and we’re getting married in Hawaii! I said it online so it must be true, right 🤔