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Letter: Sorry to read MLA is conflating public health preventive measures with a “socialist” attack on our rights and society

Was very sorry to read that my MLA, Jason Stephan is conflating public health preventive measures with a “socialist” attack on our rights and society. I think, if in fact we are an enlightened and modern society, he would remember that along with those rights and freedoms comes a responsibility to respect the rights and safety of his fellow citizens and constituents, without regard for their politics. We have a pathogen circulating in our environment that is highly infectious, spread by the very act of breathing and often is present in individuals with no symptoms or outward indication.

I can’t help but think if he had put some of that raw emotion and heartfelt concern into convincing rank and file constituents that the universal use of masks, combined with social distancing would be an easy and very effective measure to keep Covid infections at a manageable level, we would not be faced with lockdowns and forced closures of businesses. It would seem to him that wearing a mask, in public places, in consideration of your neighbors and the vulnerable in society, is too large a hit on our liberty and will destroy our souls through the disease of “dependence and idleness.”

In fact, I suspect most of us would like to see partisan politics take a small holiday and have our elected representatives listen closely, work with and follow the advice of the medical experts to try and get out in front of the pandemic, whether it is popular or not.

If being averse to risk and fearing that I might spread the virus to someone else is weakness, then I guess I will have to carry that shame. Nobody wants to go spend a day with their grandkids more than me but until the Covid virus threat has subsided, I just do not see it as a good option.

Maurice Chalmers, Red Deer