Canada v. U.S.: Refusal to Wear A Face Mask During A Lethal Pandemic

Once again, Canada is showing the United States the way.

The Canadian Public Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) reported earlier this month that a Kentucky man accused of breaking Canada’s coronavirus rules on two occasions by refusing to wear a face mask now faces a $750,000 (Canadian) fine and six months in prison.

The Canadian Quarantine Act prohibits non-essential travel between Canada and the United States, and  requires Americans to travel a direct route from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

According to the CBC, John Pennington, 40, of Walton, KY, was fined $1,200 (Canadian) on June 25 after an employee at the Banff hotel where he was staying told police he may be sightseeing in violation of Alberta’s coronavirus regulations. Police told Pennington to stay in his hotel until he was scheduled to leave the next day.

“Unfortunately, we were alerted the following afternoon to a vehicle with Ohio license plates at the gondola to Sulphur Mountain,” said a Canadian police officer.

Pennington  was arrested and charged with violating Canada’s Quarantine Act. Prior to that, seven other Americans were issued $1,200 tickets for stopping to see the sights at the park in violation of Canada’s law.

Needless to say, it’s a different story in the United States.

In recent months, many businesses and schools and colleges have issued rules requiring face coverings in public areas.  Refusal to comply could  potentially result in termination by an employer or refusal to provide service by a business.  

Unlike Canada, there is no federal mask mandate. However, more than 30 states require the wearing of face masks in public. Many people routinely fail to comply with state mask mandates, putting vulnerable populations (age 55+ and those with underlying conditions) at risk of infection of complications and death from COVID-19. 
In fact, some not only refuse to wear a face mask but have come up with counterinsurgency “anti-masks” that are designed to foil state regulations.

Protest Masks

 Etsy is selling a wide variety of “protest masks,” including a see through $9 crocheted  anti-mask made of yarn that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth but provides absolutely no protection against the spread of disease. 

A mesh mask  sold on Etsy for $10,  is labelled a “bestseller.”  The seller  states it will not protect the wearer against anything except the “mask police.” A commenter on the site wrote: “I only wear it when I am forced to protect my toddler from being attacked … and it fits my teen perfectly.” 

There is no penalty for the losers on Etsy and elsewhere who sell protest masks even though COVID-19  has already killed almost 180,000 Americans. 

These are the states that require face masks: AL, AZ, AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, TX, UT, VT,  VA, WA, WV, WI, WY,.

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