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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

People take to Toronto streets and subways to protest mandatory face masks

Today is the first day that face coverings are officially mandatory in all indoor public spaces in Toronto, and groups of anti-maskers have inevitably decided to protest the new bylaw (which doesn't actually carry any fines for noncompliance).

People have taken to Yonge and Bloor and Yonge and Dundas to rally against being asked to, in certain situations, wear a piece of fabric over their face as a courtesy to others while the threat of COVID-19 still looms.

Some at the more northerly intersection are handing out phony cards stating that they fall into the categories of people who are exempt from the new rule, which includes those with certain health conditions and children under the age of two.

On the scene at Yonge-Dundas Square are such characters as Chris Saccoccia, the Maserati-driving resident who filmed himself pushing through Longo's workers that were trying to stop him from entering the grocery store without a mask (against the store's policy amid the pandemic), and Letitia Montana, the woman who was now-famously asked to leave St. Joseph's Hospital for refusing to wear a mask in the emergency room.

Both boarded the subway along with dozens of fellow demonstrators chanting things like "no new normal" and "take off your mask" while ignoring social distancing and flouting the TTC's own mandatory face covering policy, which came into effect on July 2.

Many of those present are members of anti-mask "organizations" such as Hugs Over Masks and Mothers Against Distance (MAD).

The groups are advocating for members of the public's personal freedom to choose whether to don the simple garment (and thus whether to get infected and to infect others with a potentially fatal communicable disease). 

"Freedom is essential and that's what we're proving today," Saccoccia said to CP24 reporters today.

"If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you want to get contact traced, get contact traced. If you want to get a vaccine, get a vaccine. But you're not going to tell us to do what we don't want to do."

As the internet collectively continues to laugh at all of the Americans that have gone viral for refusing to abide by various mask policies during the health crisis, let's not for a moment think that Canadians are above the same entitled idiocy.

by Becky Robertson via blogTO

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