Author: Brian Laxson
Masks for the front
This article is based on information as understood as of 2020-08-01 YMD.
Amid the intriguing historic district of Toronto called the Junction is a man handing out free masks to those walking by. Yes, free. Brandon McAlister is a part of Mask-Ontario.com. It was a pleasure to talk with him and a co-worker about what they are doing.
To describe this think back to the days of World War One when one supporting effort was groups of women knitting socks. These socks were going to the front lines. There were the dangerous of death and disease of the trench warfare. It wasn’t just artillery shells but sickness such as trench foot from cold wet feet never getting relief. Those socks were making a difference. A time when people could say “I’m doing my part.”
In this pandemic of the SARS-CoV virus the primary spread of danger is from droplets exhaled so basics masks are currently mandatory to go into the stores.
Do you carry masks in your pockets or packs?
Do you have fresh ones?
Do you have ones for your children?
What if someone with you forgot theirs?
If you are in the junction Mask-Ontario’s 2879 Dundas Street West is handing them out. This looked so much like those war time knitters making survival gear from people they had never met.
Surviving the virus is like surviving a war. Its a war though that will never see us gaining land or resources or expanding the “cause”. Its one where we are losing lives. The questions about what stage to open a city to is a matter of whether you lose a few lives or a lot of lives. Its actions like giving others masks that dis-empowers that enemy virus. By making the enemy weaker more of our country and more of our loved ones will survive.
Supporting the program is that Mask-Ontario is also a supplier for large scale purchases of personal protective equipment, PPE. Visiting inside shows a selection on the wall of various masks and faceshields. As they point as masks are purchased they will also hand out others for free.
This is like war time factory workers that as well as working jobs to make airplanes some work free extra hours to produce a few more. Today’s people are doing just that by giving out masks to strangers in the Junction right as they are needed.
Bear in mind also that this means the workers handing them out are “in the trenches” with brief exposures to many people over the day.
They are themselves taking precautions like wearing a mask and frequent hand sanitizing. Unlike the days of those World War knitters these helpers are “in the line of fire” and are to commended for facing that extra risk.
While inside the business the simplicity of the furnishings also spoke to how quickly they started up. It was on March 11, 2020 that the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This is a few months in without diverting funds to expensive displays or dynamic electronics. Information was on a pair of whiteboards. Simple, effective and keeps more funding into fighting the virus.
The people of Mask-Ontario also spoke on how they are striving to have Canadian sources for the different PPE. We spoke about how a country, any country, needs to have plans in place for a capacity for self sustainability in a war. For instance a firearm industry supporting hunters is part of the nation’s safety by having possible transformation into supplying the defence forces. The medical industries are likewise realizing the importance of having the means to fight “the enemy” virus with face masks.
It is with strong encouragement that it is hoped that readers looking for bulk supplies of masks, face shields and other PPE will connect Mask-Ontario and review their website of maskontario.com so that they can continue to support Junction residents and visiting customers. If near Dundas and Keele consider stopping by to show support in how they are showing excellence as Canadians in keeping others alive. They have a mask for you.