COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. We are all learning – together – about how to protect ourselves and how to keep each other safe while continuing to do the things we love. Wearing masks is something everyone is talking about these days, and many people have very strong ideas about what is right for Saskatchewan.

For many of us with healthy, strong immune systems, the thought of wearing a mask in public is confusing. We think to ourselves: “Why, if I am young and healthy, do I need to wear a mask?”.

The answer is simple: We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for those around us who are not strong enough to fight off the virus as well as we can.

It’s for our grandparents, or people with more serious sicknesses like diabetes, asthma, or heart problems. These people could get very sick and even end up in hospital if they catch the virus. So, wearing a mask is about working together to look after the people around us who need extra protection, those we love and care about, and yes, even the strangers, like grocery store workers, we meet in our everyday lives.

When the virus spreads between people going about their lives – shopping, eating out, going to the gym, and many other regular activities – it is called “community transmission”. If this starts to happen too often and too many people become infected with the virus, we start to lose control and put those who might get the sickest and have the hardest time recovering, like our senior citizens, at risk. Wearing masks when out and about is a great tool to help keep community transmission as low as possible.

Other things we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 include: practicing social distancing when in public by staying at least two meters apart, washing our hands regularly, always staying home when we are sick, avoiding hangouts with large groups of people, and making sure our closest circle of friends and family – our bubble – remains small and is always made up of the same people. These are acts of respect, and they show that we care about one another – two things Saskatchewan citizens have always been proud of.

Registered nurses in Saskatchewan are asking everyone to please do their part and work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. It will save lives, keep our province safe, and we can all continue to do the things we love with the people we love. Wearing a mask and following all of the safety tips is a “WE” thing, not a “me” thing.

Article provided by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses