For many years, I've been telling myself that there are two types of people out there.
There are those who read and those who don't read.
Because I write for a living, I was convinced that I should aim my articles at those who read.
There wasn't much point in trying to use articles to speak to those who don't read.
But as waves upon waves of COVID-19 have washed over B.C. since 2020, I've come up with another snappy binary analysis of our society.
I know that we're supposed to be living in a nonbinary world—and we all have a multiplicity of identities.
Yet I can't shake this binary view when it comes to what's driving the spread of the virus. Especially when we're experiencing a more deadly 2022 in B.C. than what we endured in 2021.
It comes down to this—we live in a world in which a minority of people have been convinced by researchers that the virus spreads like cigarette smoke by hitchhiking on microscopic particles that remain suspended in the air.
And this minority of people acts accordingly by wearing masks in indoor spaces. This is to prevent breathing or expelling these particles in other ways that enables the virus to lodge in friends' and loved ones' lungs.
They also wear masks in indoor spaces to prevent taking other people's expelled particles into their lungs.
They recognize that wearing masks reduces the likelihood of them contracting COVID-19.
They're aware of research showing that infected cells trigger inflammation that can lead to heart attacks and serious brain injuries. In effect, the immune system can go haywire even in parts of the body where there's no evidence of the presence of the virus.
I have referred to these people in the past as the COVID Aware. But for the purposes of this article, I will call them the COVID Considerate.
To put it bluntly, the COVID Considerate don't want acute pulmonary edema.
That's a fancy term for the lungs filling up with fluid, which is a horrible way to die.
They're "considerate" because they know that wearing masks indoors reduces the chance of them transmitting COVID to others, who might already have a subpar immune system.
This weakened immunity leaves them at more risk of severe complications.
Then there is the rest of the population, which blithely goes about its business, indoors and outdoors, without wearing masks.
I put the two B.C. NDP leadership candidates—David Eby and Anjali Appadurai—in that latter category of the COVID Inconsiderate.
Both of their campaign launches, which occurred indoors, offered evidence of this, as have various other posts on social media. (To his credit, Eby wears masks in health-care settings and sometimes wears a mask indoors.)
The B.C. Liberal leader, Kevin Falcon, is also in this camp of the COVID Inconsiderate. I'm going to demonstrate that with a bunch of their tweets.
Eby, Appadurai, and Falcon have not demonstrated any real interest in restoring a mask mandate in B.C.
This is despite universal masking becoming more common in parts of the U.S. and more and more research drives home that COVID-19 is an airborne disease.
B.C. Greens stand apart
For people who want to interrupt the spread of airborne COVID-19, there's one provincial party that's making genuine efforts.
The B.C. Greens have consistently emphasized the importance of following the science around airborne transmission and acting accordingly.
This was on display again this week in a Twitter thread from the leader, Sonia Furstenau. It concerned updated provincial guidelines for addressing COVID-19 in schools.
"We know that masking, standardized ventilation and filtration, testing & vaccines contribute to better protection for all," Furstenau declared.
Yet this B.C. NDP government has struck down the provincial mask mandate, which means it's a COVID free-for-all in classrooms and on transit and ferries.
Meanwhile, the two B.C. NDP leadership candidates are urging progressive-minded folks to fork over $10 to join their party and help choose the next premier.
But can the COVID Considerate, in good conscience, do this when these two candidates' campaigns appear on social media to be incubators for COVID-19?
For the COVID Considerate, is there any real difference between Eby's campaign launch and some of the rallies being hosted by federal Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre?
Is it any wonder that our emergency rooms are overrun? Should we be surprised that there's been a shortage of staffing in the ambulance and ferry services this summer?
Let's face an ugly fact: most of our so-called leaders and want-to-be-leaders in Canada are serving as catalysts for the spread of COVID-19. There, I said it.
For those who say "enough is enough", there's really only one choice in the next provincial election. And that's to vote for the B.C. Greens and help put an end to this nonsense.
Why would anyone who's COVID Considerate want to give money to a party that demonstrates a lack of consideration for those with compromised immunity?
The B.C. New Democrats didn't even take action after the provincial health officer was warned by the B.C. human rights commissioner that their actions were trampling on the rights of the sick and the marginalized.
To put it very mildly, that's inconsiderate!
And who was the minister who was supposed to be giving legal advice to the cabinet at that time? None other than then attorney general David Eby.