Letter: Store signs should read “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service”

Kudos to the parents helping their kids through these trying times

To the Expositor:

Since we made our harrowing trip home from Mexico in March, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the pandemic that prompted our hasty departure. Right now I am concerned about the unavailability of testing for COVID-19 and the long wait for results in some areas of Ontario, especially as the number of cases is rapidly rising.

Fortunately for us, my husband and I have already been able to very quickly get appointments, tests and results twice on the Island, the luck of being an Islander, I guess, in a region less affected by the virus.

We were asymptomatic, but wanted to know that we were free of the virus before going to a small family reunion at a resort in the Sault area and before a camping trip to a park in the French River area. The last thing we wanted to do was infect our family or friends.

We won’t be doing that again, obviously, if tests are hard to get for people with symptoms. We intend to continue to follow the guidelines regarding mask wearing in all stores, handwashing and distancing, as well as the newest one being recommended because of the surge in cases in Ontario. That is, “if you don’t live in the house, don’t go into the house.”

We also have two items in our home that we use before we go out into the world that give us the confidence that we will not infect anyone we might run into on the street or in a store. One is a thermometer to make sure our temperature is below 37 degrees and an oximeter to make sure that our oxygen levels don’t fall below 95 percent.

If the numbers indicate a fever or diminishing breathing capacity, we will call our doctor. It occurred to me that a thermometer and oximeter might help parents to determine daily whether their kids are safe to go to school. It might be worth it to check with your own doctor about whether he or she would recommend it for your family.

We find it disturbing that some stores are serving people who are not wearing a mask. If you want to avoid confrontation, the sign that stores effectively use to motivate people to wear shoes and shirts might include masks: “no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.”

Now it is also true that, for some people, wearing a mask is decidedly problematic. For the sake of the health and welfare of others, I would appreciate those people considering options we ourselves have tried. We have friends who will pick up some things we need when they do their own shopping. Alternatively, many stores offer curbside service. Though we have no problem wearing a mask, we have sent an order by email to a store and picked it up at the store’s door, and if the COVID situation does not improve, we may go back to it.

It appears more and more younger people who flout the guidelines, besides posing a real risk to those who follow the guidelines, are getting sick themselves, putting a strain on our healthcare system.

If push comes to shove, fairness would dictate that the flouters, who become ill, be moved to end of the line when decisions need to be made about the use of resources that have become limited because of the thoughtless actions of irresponsible people.

Finally, kudos to the many parents we have witnessed, helping their kids through this difficult time, by modeling for the children the kind of behaviour that will best ensure the good health of others, especially all the selfless essential service providers we all come in contact with in grocery and hardware stores, pharmacies, dental offices, etc., etc., etc. Be safe, and keep safe, everybody.

Deborah Wilson

Honora Bay