Using a face mask to help halt the spread of a virus isn’t a novel concept around large swaths of the globe, but it remains fairly foreign throughout Canada and the United States.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in North America, Dr. Lisa Bryski thinks that could pose a problem.

While some of Canada’s prominent public health officers say there’s no need for healthy people to wear face masks, Bryski believes it might be a good idea to start making them more commonplace in our culture.

“We have this symbol, and our country hasn’t decided collectively what it means to us yet,” Bryski said from Winnipeg in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. “It’s something we haven’t had much experience with.

“Some people may consider a mask to mean: ‘OK I’m safe’ and they slack off on social distancing. Some people may consider it to say: ‘Oh gee, I better stand back. This is reminding me.’

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“So as a country we need to get a standard idea of what masks mean and how we should react to them. And that should become part of the education.”

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Dr.

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