‘Cut ’em a break’; Arkells’ Max Kerman asks for masks in Hamilton


Published November 15, 2022 at 11:38 am

Max Kerman is trying to open some hearts and minds about why, right now, people in Hamilton and across Ontario should cover their mouths and noses in public.

The Arkells frontman, amid increasing tranmission of COVID-19 and influenza in the city, as well as over-capacity occupancy at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, sounded off on Tuesday morning about reluctant to wear masks. Masking is shown to reduce spread of airborne viruses, and there are some corners of Ontario that are bringing it back as a “tripledemic” of COVID-19, the flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) escalates.

Kerman centred his argument on frontline healthcare workers, whom by all reliable accounts are bearing the strain of an overburdened system across Ontario.

“What gets lost in the ‘bring back masks convo’ is that literally no one actually likes masks,” Kerman wrote on Twitter. “ESPECIALLY the poor health care people who have to stand up there and suggest it. What a horrible job to have. They’re just trying to help. So cut em a break & know they hate it too.”

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore stated Monday that the 34 public health units across Ontario can make the call on whether to return to mandatory masking in indoor settings. Other public instititions, such as universities and colleges, can also make that decision.

The County of Essex, near Windsor, Ont., is requiring masks in all of its indoor municipal spaces. Since last week, the University of Waterloo, located about an hour away from Hamilton, has required masks for any indoor activity that is part of academic instruction. T

The City of Hamilton respiratory diseases dashboard, which is due to be updated tomorrow (Nov. 16), says that COVID-19 transmission is “high and increasing” and that flu transmission is “moderate and increasing.” With the former, the Scarsin COVID-19 Forecasting Update also shows a steady rise in COVID-19 hospital admissions is expected to peak in late December.

As a whole, Ontario’s pediatric intensive care units are full of ill children, with some being moved to general hospitals. The aforementioned MCH is part of that strain.

Kerman and his band have often been involved in community causes in Hamilton. Those have included raising $80,000 to build a pro-level outdoor basketball court in the east end, as well as hosting The Rally early last summer at Tim Hortons Field. The event included music and a pop-up market.

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