Opinion | Wearing a Mask Is Just Good Risk Management. So Why Aren’t More People on Board?

By: | September 21, 2020

Joanna Makomaski is a specialist in innovative enterprise risk management methods and implementation techniques. She can be reached at [email protected]

It started the same way. In March 2020, the headlines were overtaken by news of a killer virus, COVID-19. Soon after, we were advised to stay home, not to go to school or work and to stay apart.

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Non-essential travel ended.

Borders closed.

It was surreal.

Then the unimaginable happened: the NBA shut down. I am convinced this sole gesture made us truly take notice and that’s when the real risk compliance began.

Every morning across Canada, Canadians received a COVID-19 update from our Prime Minister, followed by the Premiers of each province and then local health officials and mayors. My mayor was from the City of Toronto.

We learned daily the rules around closures and financial relief programs made available for those in need.

We were quarantined mid-Canadian winter. For the fortunate non-essential workers, we fought this nationwide battle from our couches.

We followed directives, not like sheep blindly following their shepherd, but like soldiers listening to their commander.

We were at war.

This virus was a killer, on the spread, and the country was not having it.

Five months later, the NBA has re-opened. I now call it Bubble Basketball. And the Toronto Raptors, reigning World Champs, look good.

The messaging on their shirts and their masks make them look even better.

Our COVID-19 numbers are now similar to those experienced early in March. And Toronto has now reached Stage 3 of re-opening. But what does that look like for this Torontonian?

Only last week did I have my first haircut. I have yet to go to an indoor restaurant or bar. My gym is still closed.

Though the virus cases have dropped, we know that we are not done with this battle. So much so, that last week, it is now the law to wear a mask at indoor public spaces including common areas of condominiums.

I feel no pain from this mandate. My front door has a coat rack on which I now hang my mask next to my purse and jacket. In my car, I hang one from rear view mirror. It is a new accessory.

Enemies from our past forced our governments to mandate citizens to join the army, drafted to wars with extreme likelihood of death.

But today, my country only asks me to wear a mask to fight our enemy.

If this is an involuntary act that demands sacrifice on my part, I feel I am getting off very easy in this war.

I remain baffled about the ongoing mask debate.

Risk management dictates that: “Success leaves clues.” Masks work — evidenced by so many countries. They worked pre-COVID, too.

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Have you ever been to your dentist and they were not wearing a mask? Have you had the misfortune of seeing your surgeon walk into the operating room with no gloves, unwashed hands and no mask?

Risk management is disciplined decision making that aims to thwart events that can derail.

When living in a society, by definition, we agree to “live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done.”

Wearing a mask is not hard work and it saves lives.

Success leaves clues.

Please wear a mask. &

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