Letter: Open letter to Council and residents on masks

Dear Mayor, Council, and Morinville Residents,

I would first of all like to thank our Mayor and Council for their dedication to our community. I may not always agree with your viewpoints but I am grateful for your willingness to serve our community especially during this difficult time.

I am writing to you all as an individual with a mask exemption. Contrary to popular belief, my bare face does not mean that I do not care. I genuinely care for the health and wellbeing of each and everyone of you. This is why I am vigilant in all of my interactions.

My children no longer attend school with their peers. They do not go to the store with me when I do not have the option of curb side pick up. We are no longer welcome in the majority of places on the planet, even if they are outside activities.

I scrub my hands as I was taught in my infection control classes years ago. I maintain social distance even backing out of my space for individuals pushing through. I work daily at keeping my immune system strong. I do not go anywhere if I feel the slightest bit unwell just as I didn’t before COVID 19. I have followed all rules for quarantine even if my employer no longer covers my absence when legally required to stay home.

I am not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, nor should you. I want to give a voice to the many individuals that feel they do not have one. A medical exemption is near impossible to obtain. I know of individuals locally who faint, have extreme debilitating anxiety, cannot draw enough air due to decreased lung capacity, brain injuries, neurological deficits, etc. Do the lives of these individuals matter less than anyone else’s?

Since masks have been mandated kind and loving individuals have unknowingly and knowingly vilified myself and others. I have been called ignorant, cognitively impaired, selfish, a conspiracy theorist, anti masker and an idiot. I have been laughed at, pointed at, glared at and ridiculed while just trying to purchase a basic necessity for my family. I have feared for my safety while buying bread.

There is so much division. Scientists, medical professionals, politicians, and the general public cannot agree on what to do because none of us have the answers. Every single one of us is operating out of fear regardless of our views.

Masks have already been mandated in all the areas showing the largest outbreaks such as schools, long term care facilities, and recreational facilities so it cannot be the only solution. If wearing a mask works for you and makes you feel safe then please do and I will not judge you for that.

Whatever is decided for Morinville, please, let us all be kind to one another. Let us not assume we know what another is dealing with.  We started out with compassion, let us not lose that or there is no point to any of it.

Because I Care

Kimberly Porlier 

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