Regina family welcomes mandatory masks for the next month: ‘I will be safe from harm’

Regina Demyen is really hoping residents of Saskatchewan’s three biggest cities follow a new public health order requiring them to wear masks when in indoor public places.

For months, she and her 20-year-old son, Jaycee Culham, haven’t left the house much.

It’s just the two of them and because he has limited mobility due to muscular dystrophy, they do most things together.

That’s included wearing masks in public if they have to venture out, although not everyone else they’ve encountered had been doing the same.

“Bottom line is grown-ups wouldn’t do it when it needed to be done,” said Demyen, who wishes there had been better uptake early on.

Read more: Masks now mandatory in public places in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert

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Saskatchewan saw 129 new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, significantly shattering previous daily records.

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As of Friday for 28 days, masks are mandatory at indoor public places in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, where transmission rates have been high.

Culham, who is immunocompromised, welcomes the non-negotiable stance.

“I will be safe from harm, safe from COVID,” he said.

Read more: ‘A relief:’ Some Sask. businesses embracing indoor mask mandate, others say it will impact sales

Well aware that he is at high risk of becoming extremely ill if he contracts the novel coronavirus, he tries to be diligent about his mask when he’s around others.

But it’s complicated for him because he can’t get it on or off without help.

Some of the negativity around mandating masks frustrates his mother.

“Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and say, ‘Well, what if this were my kid? How would I feel if this were my kid?’ ” Demyen said.

While the new rule for the next month makes her feel “a little bit more comfortable” that she and Culham will be able to go out for groceries and necessities, she hopes that the people who have been choosing not to mask up will be mindful of how it impacts others. and make different decisions as the pandemic wears on.

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