Alex Lytwyn was in the Christmas spirit. He wanted to head out to Walmart in Dauphin, Manitoba, to buy a friend a box of chocolates as a Christmas gift. But not long after entering, he was accosted by security for not wearing a mask.
Alex suffers from fairly advanced cerebral palsy. As per the mask mandate set out by the Province of Manitoba, anyone who is unable to safely put on or remove his or her mask on their own is exempt from the mandate. Alex visibly falls into this category.
While Alex suffers from a physical disability, his mind and cognitive ability are completely sound. So when security belittled Alex’s intelligence and spoke to his support worker instead of him, it made him feel even more ashamed than he already was for being stopped and harassed for simply trying to go about his Christmas shopping.
Eventually, a manager was called and the situation resulted in Alex being escorted out of Walmart. Funny enough, he continued his shopping at other stores in that same plaza without issue.
Of course I followed up with Walmart, inquiring about their mission statement, which aims to “create jobs for people of all backgrounds.” I wondered if they also welcome customers from all backgrounds — including those who may be disabled.
Under its careers section, Walmart states that they “do their best to treat everyone with dignity, compassion and respect.” I wanted to know if they thought Alex was treated with dignity, compassion and respect when he was escorted off the premises because of his inability to safely wear a face covering.
And why did the store staff not respect Alex’s medical exemption? As is the new normal, no one from Walmart responded.
The saga of the disgusting abuse of authority and unwavering enforcement of one side of these policies, while completely disregarding ethics and humanity in the face of unprecedented government overreach, continues.