The internet is convinced Ontario is about to announce a new mask mandate
Respiratory hospitalizations are on the rise, the emergency health care network is on the verge of collapse, and some people seem convinced that Ontario is preparing to respond with… take a deep breath… another mask mandate.
Social media is abuzz with posts suggesting that a mask mandate will soon be reintroduced in Ontario as flu and RSV cases spike. These rumours swirl exactly five months to the day after the last provincial mandate expired at 12:00 a.m. on June 11, 2022.
In a since-deleted tweet (deleting the tweet only raised suspicions, bud), one Twitter user claimed, "My contacts at MOH say mask mandate is returning on Monday."
Others seem to agree that Monday will mark the return of things we were starting to forget about, like maskne, anti-maskers, and perpetually fogged-up glasses and shades.
Ontario mask mandate coming on Monday. Fantastic news.— Oliver Gallen (@OliverGallen) November 11, 2022
The term "masks" has been trending on Twitter in Canada for all of Friday, and it's becoming clear that either something big is about to happen, or a vast number of people are flat-out incorrect in their assessments.
There are rumblings, especially in Ontario, of a return to mask mandates and even QR-passes based on boosted status. I would be astonished if that can be made to work. 7/— Eyes On - Unacceptable (@jaycurrie) November 11, 2022
It's especially curious to see that a frequent cheerleader of the Premier, The Toronto Sun's Brian Lilley, penned an op-ed Friday arguing against any such reintroduction of mask mandates, as chatter rages online that exactly such a move is in the cards.
Lilley, who always seems to have a sixth sense for what's about to happen at Queen's Park, has many onlookers scratching their heads with his article, which openly asks: "Is Ontario about to bring in a return of mandatory masking for indoor settings? Perhaps a better question is, does Ontario need to bring in mandatory masking for indoor settings?"
It's expected that such a move would not exactly be popular among the Ontario PC Party's right-leaning base, and some are already preemptively reacting in anger.
Just called @fordnation office to let them know our family will not be complying with this charade any longer. The nice lady I spoke with said Doug will be making an announcement regarding masks. Brace yourselves Ontario.#justsayno #enoughisenough— Candace M (@CandaceMarie85) November 11, 2022
But polling seems to indicate that a majority of the province would, in fact, support a return to mask mandates.
72% said they would support a mask mandate if Ontario brought one back. 53% said they support a mask mandate being brought back.— Bill Comeau 🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@Billius27) November 11, 2022
I'm pleasantly surprised that the majority want a mandate given bad messaging over the last 7 months and lack of awareness of science on mandates.
So stock up on those masks, Ontario. It could be a wild Monday.
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