ROTHENBURGER – What will you do when the mask mandates return?

(Image: CFJC Today file photo)

WHEN MASK MANDATES RETURN, what will you do?

Will you go along, maybe unwillingly, but follow the advice of the experts, or will you rebel, shouting “Freedom!” and indignantly waving the flag?

Note I said “when,” not “if.” We’re heading for another wave of respiratory diseases — a double whammy of COVID and the flu — and the only thing stopping the return of mandatory masking will be an absence of political will.

That lack of political fortitude will be fueled by a public dislike of the mask. By and large, vaccination is a private take-it-or-leave-it proposition — though, of course, it’s better to take it — but wearing a mask, or not, is like a public declaration of personal values and resistance or otherwise to authority. They’re intensely divisive.

Whether or not you support anti-COVID measures, odds are about 95 per cent that you’re not wearing a mask these days. Just take a look in coffee shops, grocery stores, airports, sports events and public gatherings.

Almost nobody is wearing them.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9504 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – What will you do when the mask mandates return?

  1. R Marcus Lowe // November 15, 2022 at 9:25 AM // Reply

    Mel; 3 out of 4 respondents to your article do not agree. Perhaps “The Science” in your article lacks any basis in reality, outside fully-equipped biohazard laboratories populated with trained professionals.

  2. I’m thinking of wearing a mask again in grocery stores and other stores starting this week. The basic feature of not having had a common cold during the period of time when the mask mandate was in place makes wearing a mask a good thing to do. It really wasn’t that much of an inconvenience.
    Keeping up on vaccinations is also a wise choice.

  3. Hello Armchair Mayor — today I tried to post my comment in response to your editorial but was prevented from doing so with a demand that I provide an URL. I own an Apple computer (dont know if that’s a factor) and as far as I know I do not have an URL, nor have I needed one when I use ’SAFARI” or Google to use Facebook etc. What’s up? Here’s my comment: “I too have worn a mask in most public places. The exception being when I’m at my favourite cafe/deli eating & having a coffee as mask needs to come off in order to consume. One month ago I flew to Hamilton, Ont. wearing a mask as did most others aged 60 plus, even the fellow sitting beside me even though he was not over 60. I’ve noticed the same age demographic in local stores are wearing masks. What statement does that make? I believe it’s our own responsibility to apply what we’ve observed during the last two years: masks are part of protecting our health. Of course my entire circle of family and friends have had all four anti-Covid shots and are booked for the next one that’ll also include the current flu vax. The fact that all the anti-Covid immunizations are free make it a simple choice. Most people have very little, or no, reactions to the shots. What possible argument is there against being immunized? That there was a mandate at some point? How many of us have refused Polio, Tetanus, MMR, Shingles etc? and who wants to be sick with any of the above illnesses? I always remember Forest Gump’s “stupid is as stupid does” “ thank you for your help / jennie stadnichuk


  4. I agree masks in certain unavoidable places like hospitals and care facilities would go a long way to prevent spreading dreaded germs (regardless of COVID). However the mandate should be for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to increase the amount of time they spend outdoors breathing fresh air and participate in outdoor activities like walking and hiking which are also very good at lowering the carbon footprint. Walking should even be strongly suggested for mundane things like grocery shopping etc. It truly mind boggles me that our health officials (and health providers in general) are not sternly advocating for more healthier pursuits rather than just wearing a mask. Simple, low impact outdoor activities also stimulate healthy autoimmune conditions which are at the very base of healthy living. I am no longer of the idea our health officials know how to best manage the health of the nation.

  5. Ken McClelland // November 12, 2022 at 11:49 AM // Reply

    This past week we heard of an early increase in respiratory infections this season, particularly in kids, with a probable linkage to long-term mask usage, isolation, and a lack of usual exposure to the various bugs and viruses that come along. If the long-term downside of mask mandates and isolation/distancing is an eventual increase in susceptibility to normal cold and flu bugs, I’m not sure it is worth it. The strength of our immune systems depends on them having something to fight off once in a while, resulting in less illness over the long haul.

  6. Ian MacKenzie // November 12, 2022 at 9:21 AM // Reply

    Mel – I’ve worn a mask all the time I’m out of the house since they were first mandated and have no problem with them. Both wife and I have not yet been infected. In fact the last two years have been our healthiest in our married life of 65 years. I consider Doc Bonny to be less knowledgable than Dr. Anthony Leonardi who has delved into the immunology of T cells and their destruction by the covid viruses. His predictions will undoubtedly keep me with a mask on for a long time to come. Sincerely Ian MacKenzie


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