Monday March the 21st — a.k.a. Mask Liberation Day in Ontario — sort of resembled a Yoko Ono concert: it started off badly… and then proceeded to get horrid.
For starters, some organizations, such as Burlington’s Mapleview Centre, initially decided they weren’t going to abide by the latest new normal situation. Yes, the management at Mapleview decided they’d still force shoppers to wear those damnable face diapers. I guess the folks running Mapleview Centre really love Billy Idol’s epic ballad, Eyes Without a Face, the unofficial theme song for the entire world for these past two awful years.
In any event, the friendly lady at Mapleview’s guest services booth blamed the ongoing mask mandate on Halton Region not being able to get its act together. That turned out to be a heapin’ helpin’ of fake news given that Halton Region voted to rescind the mask mandate last Saturday.
However, I do have some good news to report on this mall’s desire to still control the lives of its shoppers even when there’s no legal mandate to do so: by the time we got to Mapleview Centre later that day, the policy had already been rescinded. I had previously reached out to Halton Region and the owner of the mall, Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge. And I presume that one or both of those entities read the riot act to the managers at Mapleview because once we got there the mall cops were no longer on the lookout for — horror of horrors! — maskless shoppers!
Now, with the province mask-free and with Mapleview Centre reversing its own weirdo homemade health edicts, you’d think we would’ve been greeted by unmasked faces galore at the mall. Viva La Face, Viva, right? But no. That was not the case at all. In fact, I estimate that about 75% of the shoppers at Mapleview Centre on Monday were still donning their face diapers. I noticed a similar trend at other stores all over the Greater Toronto Area that day.
The question is: Why?
Maybe it is simply due to indoctrination. Maybe when it comes to being informed, too many people still rely on the Faucis and the Tams and the Devillas of the world — and, of course, their COVID-cheerleaders in the mainstream media. Because at this stage of the coronavirus, surely continuing to wear a non-medical face mask is worse than useless.
I’ll go further: I think that wearing a mask even when the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says you no longer have to do so means that face-masking is longer about “following the science” — if it ever was about following the science. No, at this stage, a person wearing a mask is akin to a Muslim lady wearing a hijab or a Sikh gentleman wearing a turban or a Christian person wearing a cross. It is a visual symbol stating you are on Team Islam or Team Sikhism or Team Christianity. Likewise, the face mask states you are pro- big government; you are pro- big lockdowns; that you are a self-identifying member of Karen Nation — you know, that contingent of humourless harpies who take near-orgasmic delight in yelling at the “non-compliant” in a tone of voice that resembles a banshee caught in a leghold trap.
Indeed, the lack of people in Southern Ontario embracing mask freedom reminds me of the ending of a long-forgotten film from 1971, Bless the Beasts and Children.
The plot involves a handful of misfit pre-teen kids at a summer camp in Arizona. They eventually bond together with a common purpose: to free a herd of buffalo that is being confined at a nearby game preserve.
The kids are revolted that hunters, after paying a fee, can shoot the captive bison like so many proverbial fish in a barrel.
When these youths figure out a way to break open the gates that are holding the buffalo captive, much to their shock and surprise, the herd does not run for the hills. These buffaloes have been tamed; their spirits have been broken. Thus, being held captive and then being shot dead without even attempting to flee is the new normal for these buffaloes.
In the here and now, much like the once-wild buffalo in Bless the Beasts and Children, I wonder how many people — in such a relatively short timeframe — have completely forgotten what freedom feels like. They have become so accustomed to being told what to do, where to go, what to wear. And in the months and years ahead, I wonder how many of us will still be perfectly fine to live with COVID-inspired tyranny — even when the government itself is no longer mandating such tyranny…