Not today, COVID! Someone get Gavin Newsom and the other prophets of #ScIeNcE on the phone, because this story is truly an inspirational one!
Vigilant citizens in Toronto, Canada did their duty to #StopTheSpread earlier this week by kicking 67-year-old Elaine Arbeau out of her favorite bingo hall for refusing to comply with masking regulations. Elaine, who is battling lung cancer, has been effectively stuck at home for months due to the 'Rona lockdowns. According to her son, she doesn't get out much except to visit local casinos and bingo halls with her friends.
After months of fighting cancer in near isolation, Elaine was understandably excited about seeing her friends at Delta Bingo in Pickering, Ontario. Once inside, however, Elaine was told she must wear an additional mask or covering over the surgical opening in her trachea.
Elaine politely refused. Her excuse was the little fact that she'd be unable to breathe if she covered up the hole.
Management, unconvinced by her little charade of requiring oxygen for life, removed her to protect everyone from the evil virus this sexagenarian cancer survivor was clearly and obviously harboring. A manager named Lucy (who may just be #Karen's perfect counterpart) escorted her to the parking lot, where Elaine broke down in tears. Seeing her distress, Lucy apparently offered to let her back in, but after being humiliated, Elaine wanted none of it.
In the following weeks, Elaine checked her local ordinances on masks, confirming one is not required if it "inhibits a person's ability to breath in any way." Emboldened by this knowledge, Elaine tried to go back to Delta Bingo on August 28, where she was summarily denied entry. This time, Elaine recorded the interaction with the employee who denied her entry.
In the video, the employee tells her "you are unable to enter the premises without covering your neck," and then gives her a number to the head office of the bingo hall chain. Elaine, who has difficulty speaking due to the tracheotomy, then points out her rights. The employee counters by saying that since the premises are private property, they can establish whatever rules they want. When she inquires about manager Lucy's input, the man tells her it's a directive straight from the corporate office.
This brave and stunning display left Elaine out in the cold again. What a noble display of chivalry and compassion! At least no one caught COVID, right??
Unfortunately for Delta Bingo, Elaine's story went viral after her son posted the story on Facebook, detailing the treatment she had received.
Speaking to local media, Delta Bingo CEO Cam Johnston assured everyone that this was actually for Elaine's own good.
"I'll make a judgement shortly," Johnston said. "But we would prefer that people who are unable to wear masks do not attend. I think it's best for them."
Right, Cam – because ostracizing, shaming, and banishing an old woman to endless isolation unless she agrees to stop breathing is basically chicken noodle soup for the soul. What a stand up guy, #amiright??
Take it away, Gavin! Tell ol' Elaine what she should do!