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Guest column: Don’t leave home without it
Guest columnist

By Craig and Sharon Butts

There was a time when people were told not to leave home without their MasterCard. It was a slogan; a sales pitch, but it was memorable.

Today people are advised to wear a mask when they leave home. It’s not a slogan or sales pitch and it doesn’t seem to be memorable.

Through this virus experience, restaurants have implemented curb service so their customers and employees practice social distancing, liquor stores remained open for shopping, no masks required.

For the first time in history as we know it, we saw grocery stores with plexiglass barriers separating their cashiers from the customers and drug stores only practicing social distancing while standing in line and cashiers thinking that’s too much.

No measure is too much to possibly save a life, or in this case several potential lives. We understand certain businesses needing to remain open. What we don’t understand is the lack of concern by some of these businesses for their employees or customers. With certain business types being given the “green light” to reopen, we meet remain vigilant and not throw caution to the wind. There are those in our families and close communities who, due to preexisting health issues and age, remain in the vulnerable category. For their sake, if not yours, acknowledge cabin fever is real, but that is no excuse to be reckless.

We should still follow: N-95 masks; don’t leave home without it and don’t go to work without it. Of all the variety of messages, the wearing of masks has been a consistent message. But the other side of this is the essential workers.

We applaud and appreciate those front line heroes who have to venture out during these uncertain times. We need to learn how to appreciate those who we choose to continue in safe shelter with and enjoy their presence, not take it for granted. And we need to share empathy, sympathy and understanding to those who suffer loss during and due to this crisis.

Rather than hostility and lack of patience, now is the time to reach inside and bring out compassion.

The Butts are founders of Unity in the Community. They live in Richmond Hill.

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