Masks are no longer mandatory in BC, and the response is all over the place

Mar 11 2022, 6:22 pm

Yesterday, BC health officials announced that masks would no longer be mandatory in most public indoor spaces, and as of 12:01 am on March 11, that ruling came into effect.

The reaction to the news was swift and fierce, with people on both sides of the fence.

Health officials made a point to ensure that people respected others’ space and comfort levels, but as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, that isn’t always the case.

All over social media, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit, people are having conversations about the ruling, and these are just some of the reactions.

The prevailing theme seems to be that most people will opt to keep their masks on, and most people seem to be understanding of that fact.

Most people.

Unfortunately, the news has also led to some toxicity online.

Lots of people are worried that the mask mandate being lifted will mean cases or variants will rise, forcing it to be reintroduced later.

There is actually some historical data to support some of those concerns that are being shared on social media.

Deja vu?

Last summer, as BC entered step 3 of its restart plan, they dropped the mask mandate. It only took a month or two for the province to see a large resurgence in cases, which then forced health officials to reintroduce the mandate.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry herself didn’t rule out that possibility when announcing the changes at yesterday’s press conference, particularly when the fall respiratory season comes around.

She said the tools or layers of protection we’ve become so used to could come back at a later time. She added that health officials were confident in the decision to lift the mandate at this point.

One of the common themes we’ve found on reddit is people feeling unsure about how to use their facial expressions, as they’ve been hidden for so long. There are also some that are worried they’ll have to say hi to people they’ve been able to ignore thanks to masks.

Some users chose to be lighthearted about the whole situation and have some fun with the news. Remember glory holes?

One thing to take note of is that there are businesses, organizations, and institutions who will continue to keep a mask mandate in place, so it might not be a bad idea to keep one handy just in case.

By the way, happy two-year COVID-19 pandemic anniversary.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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