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LETTER: This is a time for tolerance and understanding

"Presently, I do believe our leadership is trying very hard to promote our health and safety based on what evidence has been presented to them – not easy choices. Health and safety is critical in a pandemic."
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Over many weeks in the Gazette's Your Views and Commentary sections, I have read back-and-forth arguments regarding many issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest issue seems to me is wearing a mask or not wearing a mask.

Mary Harland ("Not everyone should be wearing a mask," July 8 Gazette) argues "when I see a person wearing a mask, I wonder if that person is sick and should be at home." I can argue the same thing when I see someone without a mask.

In the same edition, Chris Nelson argues there would be "no going back from mandatory masks." Mr Nelson makes valid arguments. It does become a real threat to our freedoms and liberty to make choices once a law or bylaw becomes effective. Those are often not overturned or easily changed. Presently, I do believe our leadership is trying very hard to promote our health and safety based on what evidence has been presented to them – not easy choices. Health and safety is critical in a pandemic.

Clearly this is a time for tolerance and understanding. I would like all of us to encourage optimism and a positive "can-do" attitude in the face of this adversity and misfortune. Make careful decisions for one's family and self on good, solid research. What is right for one may not necessarily be right for another. Being seniors, we have made many difficult choices in the last months regarding our well being. We are careful with our outings, both social and daily activities such as groceries.  We wear masks appropriately for us: in crowded spaces or small spaces or when a business has asked us to do so such as a lab, hair salons, etc. We follow best practices as set out by public health. Lastly, and more importantly, when one argues about all of these restrictions, becomes angry and or frustrated about these changes to our liberty and freedom of choice, who will you go and see when you become ill? Your politician? Or your health provider, i.e. your family doctor – a comment that I heard when listening to the news.

Joyce Smith,

St. Albert