Cartoon manipulative, divisive

I find it offensive.

Cartoon manipulative, divisive

The satirical cartoon that appeared in the Citizen on July 16 led me to a night of insomnia. It clearly implied that those of us who don’t wear a mask when we go outside to beaches and parks during our summer months are idiots who don’t care about the well-being of others.

The etymology of the word “idiot” includes the idea of peculiar to oneself, separated. When I am out and about in the Cowichan Valley, I estimate that fewer than half of my fellow citizens wear masks. This hardly makes the absence of a mask an anomaly or peculiarity. I also fail to believe that more than half of my fellow citizens don’t care about others’ well-being.

The same day I picked up the Citizen, I heard Dr. Henry’s briefing broadcast on the CBC in which she encouraged British Columbians to enjoy the outdoors, places like beaches and parks, while social distancing. She also stated that to date, only about one per cent of British Columbians have tested positive to antibodies for COVID-19. According to this information, in spite of the fact that many of us have not been wearing masks, 99 per cent of British Columbians have not caught the virus in the first six months of this year. Considering these numbers, it hardly seems justified to accuse those of us who remain unmasked of idiocy any more than it would be justified to consider those who choose to wear masks of being idiots. It is a choice that we each make. Let’s respect each other’s choices.

The cartoon is an attempt to shame those who don’t mask up. It is manipulative and divisive, and frankly, I find it offensive.

Tobi Panter



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