Canadian 'experts' once again calling for mask mandates as new variant emerges
( Post Millennial )
Experts are once again calling for a return of mask mandates as a new Covid-19 variant starts to spread among the Canadian population, but support for such measures is mixed.
A CTV News report from Calgary International Airport warned that the “highly-transmissible ‘Kraken’ strain” will soon become dominant in Canada, but noted that this doesn’t appear to have changed the behaviour of those passing through the airport, the majority of whom remained unmasked.
An expert interviewed by CTV is calling for new public health measures to be put in place to help slow the spread, including mask mandates in schools.
“We could put mask requirements for everybody in public places, in schools and hospitals and so on, because we know that works,” biologist Gosia Gasperowicz told CTV News. “If we could delay (the new strain’s dominance) until spring, we would be in a much better place.”
Gasperowicz is a co-founder of the group Zero Covid Canada, a national group of researchers, physicians, engineers, activists, lawyers, educators, and concerned citizens formed in 2021 to call on the government to put extreme measures in place to eliminate Covidfrom society. Not everyone agrees with Gasperowicz. Journalist Cory Morgan took to Twitter to call for an end to the fearmongering.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has shown no signs of intending to introduce such measures.
“The vast majority of Albertans and Canadians have been infected with Omicron, as shown by seroprevalence data,” spokesperson Steve Buck said in a statement to CTV. “COVID is certainly still putting pressure on hospitals, but proportionally, the impact is far less than before.”
“That does not mean we’re at no risk: just less risk,” Buck concluded.
Elsewhere in the country, support for mask mandates is reported to be higher. A poll conducted by CTV News in November found that seven in ten Canadians said that they would support the return of mask mandates at least to some extent. This support was higher among the over-55s, and lowest in the 18-34 age bracket.