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LETTER: Mayor Strathearn should do his homework before commenting

A reader's concerned over recent comments from Stewart Strathearn on wearing masks in a MidlandToday story
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MidlandToday received the following letter from a reader concerned with a comment made by Mayor Stewart Strathearn in a recent story on masks.

Dear Mr. Mayor Stewart Strathearn,

I was disappointed and a little shocked by your totally insensitive comment in the MidlandToday online paper article called “County council divided, votes against sweeping mask rules” posted on July 16, 2020 where you stated, “When it comes to people who can’t wear masks due to medical reasons, those same medical reasons should be a good reason for those people to stay at home”.

You obviously know nothing about the wearing of masks? People with medical exemptions are not sick and contagious; they merely cannot function with an oxygen depriving mask on and to wear one not only can cause immediate complications but can also have long lasting serious health effects.

The medical exemption is basically anyone who cannot breathe with a mask on and the usual conditions are emphysema, asthma, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis, however other conditions include PTSD, claustrophobia and panic attacks which may mean nothing to you but are very real to the people experiencing them and because of the lock up for the last four months these conditions have intensified for many people due to isolation, loneliness, depression, alcohol, fear and suicide of loved ones.

And now people are trying to venture out and find some normalization to feel human again and you tell them to stay home. You also said “I think enforcement will likely come from peers”.

Wow, is this not giving peer’s permission to be bullies? I thought Canada was zero tolerance to bullying? Why are you encouraging people to be against each other? And why should people with disabilities be intimidated, humiliated and bullied by others who are wearing masks? These peers are not enforcement officers.

Did Dr. Colin Lee not urge the public to be kind to each other and to understand that everyone is just trying to do the right thing? Well your comments contradict that view and maybe you should be more compassionate to people with disabilities?

Debra Smith
Midland, Ont.