Mask On, Mask Off, or Public Health Orders in Manitoba

I can hear the LibChat notification go off in my sleep. My college began its two-week student event, and no rehearsal can anticipate one technical bug messing things up. The school year has already started, and my to-list takes on the routine of students back in classes, though it’s online.

For the past few weeks, I have jumped on and off WordPress to see the latest on Richard Armitage’s 50th birthday, especially the auction of his Guy of Gisbourne leather jacket. In the middle of fandamonium, Premiere Thranduil, the nickname for Premier Brian Pallister, decided to step down as leader of his party. Did I mention he has a place in Costa Rica and has, on occasion, been there while his government carried on? Also, in the middle of this change came the relaxing of some public health orders after we met our vaccine goals.

Great! I thought restaurants will open to more people from different households, immunization cards will play more of a role, especially as movie theatres open to limited capacity. The orders came around, and mask mandates lifted.

Wait! What!?

On top of everything else, no effort was made to mandate vaccines. It made no sense and looked like all the gains we made would be for nothing. In the southwestern part of Manitoba, our own bible-belt has the lowest rates of vaccination. It’s a combination of misplaced faith (trust God), distrust of government, and the internet rabbit holes plaguing everyone else. (Misinformation, one of many pandemics going around besides the obvious one.) However, something unique happened.

Business after business said masks are required, even in many restaurants. Universities and colleges not only mandating masks but also mandating vaccines. The email from the college president popped into my inbox announcing staff and students on campus will require vaccines, with dates for first and second doses for those unvaccinated. We kept our previous protocols, giving some measure of protection, but that message made me cry with relief. On top of that, three major post-secondary institutions, including one I work at, released the news that masks and vaccines are mandated on campus on the same day.

I watched as people at the gym kept their masks on, including me. Even at Polo Park, one of the larger shopping malls in the city, I saw maskless people in the minority. The movie theatre gave me pause as less than five people had masks, even in a limited capacity space, but my friend said, “You are lucky if you see a mask in Alberta.” (She is often the only person and, yes, told Covid was a lie.)

I almost want to replay that day with Alan Silvestri’s ‘Portals’ from Avengers Endgame in the background. A fourth wave was here, and places basically said, “Fine, if you as our elected leaders will not lead, then we will set the example.” Well, Premier Thranduil and our Public Health doc announced masks are once again mandated. They got the Delta modelling and gulped. Every school division in the city now has a mask mandate and vaccines required for staff before coming back in September.

Confused reading it? Imagine living here.

At the moment, we have masks back on in indoor spaces per new public health orders. Premier Thranduil’s party will have a leadership race with two women running head-to-head. (Not good news here. I wouldn’t trust either woman with a 10 foot poll.) Oh, and we have a federal election on September 30.

See why I detour into Richard Armitage, Marvel, Star Wars, and anything else to give my brain a break? I have not even talked about being back on campus.

6 thoughts on “Mask On, Mask Off, or Public Health Orders in Manitoba

  1. People are NUTS. We had the police called to a school board meeting here in the region last night — due to maskless protestors who were protesting a possible mask mandate that was, however, not on the meeting agenda. The state legislature is in process of passing a law forbidding mask mandates, but as they look at the numbers, local school districts are making them anyway. (And I saw in Texas, where mask mandates are also illegal, local districts are trying to get around the prohibition by adding masks to their dress codes, which by law cannot be regulated by the state.)

    I just bought another tranche of cloth masks with room for insertable layers. I think this will go on for the next three years minimum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People here are watching what’s going on in Texas with jaws dropped, even knowing Texas does what Texas does. It’s knowing kids will be impacted that gets me. KIDS!

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      1. Yeah (having lived there fourteen years, I will affirm that slogan). FEMA just sent a mobile morgue to the San Antonio area today. But by all means, please preserve your freedoms [sarcasm].

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  2. No masks in The Netherlands anymore either! Not even indoors unless it gets too crowded. After visiting France, where masks indoors are mandatory and every restaurant (even outside) and museum we went to demanded a ‘passe sanitaire’ (proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test), it feels very weird coming back to The Netherlands with very few measures in place. We do continue to keep our 1.5 m distance. I wonder if we’ll have a next wave of high Covid numbers coming…

    Liked by 1 person

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