Ontario saw its first Covid-19 case on January 22, 2020. March 17 was when the government called a state of emergency and within short order, schools, places of worship, bars & restaurants, and non-essential businesses were shut down. It’s been a challenging time for many of us, but we’re starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as cases drop and the government begins allowing things to re-open.

Re-open is not the same as back to normal. Lines outside big box stores are still a common thing. New glass and plastic barriers separate us from cashiers. Banking takes longer as banks and credit unions restrict the number of people who can enter to maintain physical distancing. And of course, there are the masks.

You can find masks, hand sanitizer, and even toilet paper in abundance at most retailers. When it’s not possible to maintain physical distance your mask becomes your next line of defense, helping to keep junk from your respiratory system getting into someone else’s respiratory system, and vice versa. Words like “comfortable”, “stylish”, and “fun” aren’t words you’ll use to describe masks, but wearing them seems to be the best way we can approach “normality” while preventing further spread of Covid-19.

Just keep in mind that the non-N95 masks are meant to protect other people from YOU. They’re not as good as protecting YOU from other people. This is why some folks get antsy when they’re around people who aren’t wearing masks. If being breathed upon “moistly” (sorry – that was a great moment in Canadian history) can contribute to the spread of Covid-19, it makes sense you keep your moistness to yourself. Wear the mask. Be a shining example of a polite, courteous Canadian.

Here’s hoping we’re able to return to a semblance of normal and remain Covid-19 free!