Don’t take frustration out on others

We hear a lot about COVID fatigue. Frankly, most people were suffering from COVID fatigue back around March 31, less than three weeks after the virus was first diagnosed in Saskatchewan. 

For most people, it seems that we’re at COVID frustration, and some have moved beyond the COVID frustration stage. Call it COVID rage.

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And it seems that some people have been taking their frustration or their rage out on others who don’t deserve to be the subject of a temper tantrum. 

We’ve heard the stories. A person was seen reaming out a City of Estevan staffer at the Estevan Leisure Centre a few weeks ago over COVID protocols. That person eventually left, but only after police were called in.

And more recently, police had to be called to a local store when a customer allegedly became belligerent towards employees when he was asked to wear a mask, and later, when asked to leave. In that case, that person received a $2,800 fine.

You have to wonder if someone really thinks it’s worth $2,800 to rant and complain and make a scene, all over a face covering.

Incidents have occurred elsewhere, too. A viral video at a Saskatoon Vietnamese restaurant showed a lowlife hurling racial slurs at a staff member due to mask requirements.

It’s one thing to be frustrated or angry or even furious with these restrictions. It’s another thing to take it out on others. 

If you want to make a scene, well, that’s your prerogative. Don’t complain when you’re asked to put on a mask, when you’re mocked for not wearing a mask, when you’re asked to leave, when the police are called in due to your conduct, or if you’re issued a fine. The fine is usually a last resort, but some people do deserve it.

And it’s not like this is something new. We’ve had mandatory masks for indoor places in Saskatchewan for almost three months now. It’s a no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service proposition. It’s going to be this way for a few more months. 

If you’re really that upset with having to wear a mask in public, then don’t go out in public. Stay home.  

If you have a legitimate medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, then that’s understandable, and it has to be frustrating that you constantly have to explain why you’re not wearing that mask or that you’re showing a doctor’s note. People who have medical reasons for not wearing masks have a right to be out in public, too. 

But “I don’t want to wear a mask” or “It goes against my rights” is not a valid excuse. 

Nobody likes wearing a mask. They’re an inconvenience and they’re annoying. Once we’re out of the COVID woods, most people will be eager to never wear them again. Some might keep them as a bizarre souvenir of the pandemic, and some might continue to wear a mask because they feel the need to have one.

But for most of us, we’re looking forward to a cathartic mask-burning ceremony in a backyard fire pit.

Most of us are looking forward to seeing the smile of the friend we encounter randomly in a store.

We have to remember that the opponents of wearing masks seem to be a vocal minority, and a very small minority at that.  

However, it is completely inexcusable to rant against staff members who ask you to wear a mask. They aren’t the ones who came up with these masking policies. But they get enforcing the policy thrust upon them to go along with their other day to day responsibilities.

And if they don’t enforce the policy, they risk putting their business in a position of a pretty steep fine.  

Treat these staff members with the respect they deserve.  

And if you do feel the need to call police, be sure the situation warrants it. Our police officers are busy people. Don't call the cops because someone's mask wasn't on properly for a few moments. 

We’ve all had to do things we don’t like in the past 11 months. Wearing a mask is one of them. But compared to some of the other hurdles and problems associated with COVID, wearing a mask is pretty minor.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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