Opinion: No, Wearing Face Masks Actually Isn’t Tyrannical

A sign (pictured below) is on the door to a vitamin/supplement store in Toronto.

Yes, you read that right. Yes, it is ironic. Yes, I also chuckled. Especially at that last part: “The only virus is in your mind.” Seems to me that the virus got to the mind of the pharmacist who put this sign here: on the front door of a pharmacy. 

Personally, I thought it was a joke at first, but then a family friend (the same person who took the photo) walked in to the store with her mask on and, lo and behold, was asked to leave the store. 

“As soon as I walked in,” she said, “there was this piercing gaze coming from behind the counter from who I can only assume to be the man behind the poster on the front door. He said ‘take it off or leave.’ So I did what any rational person would do: I left.” 

But of course, it would be unfair to publish a story about someone’s questionable decision without first contacting the someone who made that questionable decision. And so I did, and all they had to say was, “No comment,” and hung up the phone before I had a chance to say that saying “No comment,” will be seen as a comment, but alas. 

Perhaps he’d been asked that question quite a few times already and had nothing left to say. I did in fact hear him say “for Christ’s sake” under his breath before he made his comment. So take that for what you will.

Honestly, the best part of it all is that a person whose profession is helping people, refuses to help people if they are helping themselves by wearing a mask. Surely there must be some legal obligation he is violating, but that’s between him and the law. 

One part of the sign that sticks out to me is the use of the word “tyranny.” “Time to wake up & end tyranny.” It’s a pretty serious word to be throwing out there, and by putting on his homemade propaganda, having ignorant people walk by and start to be convinced by this sign is all the more dangerous, especially if those same people think that face masks being mandated is “tyranny.” 

But for those who are confused let’s do some research. 

First off, Oxford Languages says that tyranny is “cruel or oppressive government rule,” or “a nation under cruel and oppressive government.” 

In the defence of someone who thinks mandating masks is an act of tyranny, having such subjective words like “cruel” is probably an asset, since whether or not something is cruel depends on who you ask. 

But, I have a counter! I think it’s a good point that perhaps there’s a flaw in the definition you can work with. However, while there are some people in history who are absolutely positively tyrants, Canada’s current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not one of those people. 

A good example of a tyrant would be someone like Genghis Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire way back in the 12th century. Khan would slaughter anyone who happened to be living in a part of the world that he decided to conquer. That’s tyranny.

Someone like Ivan the Terrible is a tyrant. He was mentally ill during his time as Tsar of Russia in the mid-16th century. He killed anyone that looked at him funny, and is responsible for the Massacre of Novgorod, which killed 3000 in the name of expanding territory. 

And of course we all know Adolf Hitler, who famously crescendoed his cruelty towards the Jewish population, until he concluded at the “Final Solution.” Killing six million of them before the end of World War II, Hitler will be known for being one of the cruelest tyrants in history. 

Granted, these are examples of the absolute worst tyrants in history, and so the distinction between these men and Trudeau is vast; however, to put on your sign “end the tyranny” because you don’t want to wear face masks (which are meant to actually protect you – not kill you) is disrespectful to those who actually experienced a tyrannical government. 

But let’s not jump to conclusions and…conclude…that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the current government. Is there a chance that maybe the government is exercising just an eensy bit more power than they should right now? 

Some would say yes. I would say “ehhh, maybe.” I like to think that we have a government that’s above taking advantage of people during a pandemic, but I also like to believe that there aren’t pharmacies telling people to quit wearing protective face masks – it’s not a perfect world. 

On one hand, you’ve got to respect the fact that the pharmacist is standing up for what he believes in, because there are a lot of people who don’t bother. 

On the other hand, some things aren’t worth standing up for. And this is one of those things. 

COVID-19 has killed and ruined lives. Attempting to persuade the general public that not only are masks not necessary, but that our government is tyrannical, is a new low. 

For the sake of everybody you care about, where your dang mask, despite any signs you may read from rogue pharmacies.