Editor’s Desk: Mask mandate will be annoying, but it’s our turn to cover up in COVID fight

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
Welcome with a mask
Illustration: Don Lindsay
Camera IconWelcome with a mask Illustration: Don Lindsay Credit: Don Lindsay/The West Australian

After dodging it over the course of an almost two-year pandemic, it’s finally caught up with me.

No, this is not me announcing my positive COVID diagnosis. I’m talking about masks. I spent the bulk of 2020 working in Perth, but moved to Geraldton before the mask mandate swept through the metro area.

I also haven’t been back to Perth much lately, so haven’t had to wear masks on my return to Geraldton as metro visitors do.

But my maskless time is up. Yesterday was not just a typical Monday, it was a manic Monday for many in the Mid West. We were among the last few regions included in what is now a Statewide indoor mask mandate.

And I fear it won’t be long before the Mid West is subject to the raft of restrictions reintroduced elsewhere by Premier Mark McGowan last week. That will happen as soon as there’s community transmission in the Mid West.

Back to masks. Most of us hate them. They are annoying, restrictive, cumbersome, make it hard to breathe, fog up your glasses, are bad for your skin and apparently can lead to a dry and sore throat.

But who cares? We here in Geraldton and the Mid West have been lucky with a capital L. We’ve managed to go two years without having a rule to wear masks. It’s now our time to do our little bit to help fight this virus.

If it’s whipping on a mask and putting up with it, then so be it. And if it gets too much, what more of an excuse do you need to go outside for a fresh air break than being able to take your mask off?

On the positive, you don’t have to worry about wearing make-up and can mouth anything you want at anyone and no one will ever know.

And I truly hope this does not give further ammo to anti-vaxxers to spread their misinformation and lies. What are they going to argue? Masks are potentially dangerous, an untested form of treatment and a stripping of our civic rights?

Let’s put the mask mandate in perspective (after all, most other West Aussies have been forced to wear them on and off for months and months) and just get on with what we have to do to see the back end of this pandemic sooner rather than later.

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