When people seek guidance on the right thing to do in life – and during COVID-19 – many look to those in authority.
But when that authority gives mixed messages, then some fail to do that right thing.
Just look at the train wreck in Ontario, where one of the province’s ministers just resigned after getting caught kicking it in the Caribbean – after the government lectured citizens to stay home.
Closer to home is a Burnaby apartment building in which many residents fail to wear required masks in the hallways because the landlord has failed to do its job.
Sara lives near Lougheed Mall in a rental building and says that when Dr. Bonnie Henry made masks mandatory for indoor public spaces, like apartment buildings, her landlord didn’t bother to put up any signs.
This surprised me because in my building, the signs went up immediately. They are posted all over.
Not in Sara’s building. For more than a month, nothing was posted. She lobbied the landlord to fix the situation and then, finally, something was posted but it was more of a “do your part and wear a mask” and didn’t include the provincial health order like the one in my building (pictured above).
It’s not a suggestion – it’s the law.
“People are not adhering to the friendly reminder,” Sara said. “There’s nothing compelling them to do so, unless they stay current of COVID reports or news.”
Sara contacted different agencies and it appears that nobody can compel a landlord to post signage or enforce the public health order.
“My fears and complaints are not being heard by the landlord,” she said. “I cannot be alone in my concerns about this. Unfortunately, COVID is isolating us, so we cannot band together to be heard.”
In the meantime, one of Sara’s relatives has tested positive for COVID-19 so she understands just how dangerous the situation is.
And so when she leaves her apartment, she has to face people not following the order.
“I do know that some people in this building have a nonchalant attitude about masks,” Sara said. “When I ask them where is their mask, I get, ‘Oh, I forgot.’ Or, ‘Here it is in my purse.’ How can we get people on board if we cannot get (the entire) organization on board?”
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.