People protesting mask-wearing and other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic lined the intersection of the old Island Highway and Aulds Road on Saturday. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

EDITORIAL: Defying COVID-19 restrictions puts the public at risk

Recent reactions in opposition to BC’s COVID-19 restrictions are puzzling and disappointing

Recent reactions in opposition to British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions are puzzling and disappointing.

In recent weeks, anti-mask rallies have become increasingly common around the province.

Others have chosen to defy the mask regulations in more individual ways, taking out their frustrations and anger on retail and restaurant staff.

In British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, some churches have defied a province-wide ban on gatherings and have continued to hold in-person services.

These responses are increasing as the number of new COVID-19 cases and the number of deaths from the pandemic is on the rise.

The provincial directives have been put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Wearing a mask and avoiding public gatherings may be inconvenient and annoying, but contracting COVID-19 can be fatal.

At present, Canada has recorded close to 400,000 COVID-19 cases and has recorded more than 12,000 deaths from this pandemic.

Among those who have recovered, some continue to have lingering health issues, affecting their quality of life for the long term.

This pandemic is a deeply serious matter.

Holding anti-mask rallies and public gatherings can increase the risk of people around us contracting this virus. Some might lose their lives as a result.

As Canadians, we have the right to our opinions, including the right to disagree with policies and laws in place. However, the right to disagree does not give one the right to violate laws and orders.

Freedom, as former prime minister John Diefenbaker once said, is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.

Not everyone will like the restrictions imposed because of this pandemic, but defying the directives can put ourselves and others at dire risk.

— Black Press

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