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Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have laid into British Columbians who refuse to wear masks.
Dr. Henry spoke out against “people who are belligerent” about mask-wearing and are “doing it to make a personal point” during Wednesday’s COVID-19 update.
"I have no time for people who believe that wearing a mask somehow makes them ill or is a sign of lack of freedom,” she said.
She added: “I have no time for people who are belligerent and are trying to make some sort of a statement about anti-vax and think this is not a truly challenging pandemic.”
Wearing a mask is “about respect for our fellow people who are suffering through this with us and about making sure we are doing our piece in solidarity to get us through this really challenging time,” she said, asking people to be “mindful” and “compassionate.”
Public orders on mask-wearing are designed to protect law-abiding British Columbians from such people, she added.
She also said she fears people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will be mistreated in public because of “misguided” anti-maskers.
Adrian Dix, meanwhile, said wearing a mask is a “sign of respect for one another" and urged those against the practice to "reflect."
He also dismissed claims from people forced to wear masks that the law is “unjust,” asking instead that consideration is given to hospital staff dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19.
"That's unjust,” he said. “It's unjust that all of the people have to go through this, but we do [it] together – the virus isn’t arguing with us.
"So when people use terms of injustice, they should be properly applied.”
He added: “When people try to compare what really is at best inconvenience with injustice, they’re just wrong.”