Mandatory Masks in Nova Scotia July 31, 2020

As of this Friday, July 31, 2020, it will be mandatory in Nova Scotia to wear a non-medical mask in indoor public spaces. To remind us all to wear our masks and to respond to the connection between the climate crisis and viruses, we have “posed” and “masked” John Graham-Pole in our developing bee and butterfly meadow, holding a wildflower posy gathered nearby and a compliant masked teddy-bear.

By altering the environment at a faster rate than any other moment in geologic history, scientists say, humans have created a wealth of chances for viruses to evolve. The world has learned that policy directives alongside engagement and participation at an individual level makes a difference to both climate change and countering the spread of viruses. Think of the images of the sky clearing over Cairo making the Pyramids visible. Or the top of Mount Everest in Nepal. It is not an official directive but an act of individual responsibility that we will take up wearing our non-medical masks at public outdoor events, including on the sidewalks of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Our garden wolf (stone carving by Joe Arsenault) also assumes symbolic significance. We have nicknamed our wolf Lykos (the Greek word for wolf). The wolf is sacred to Artemis, the Greek goddess of wild nature. Wolves feature as divine messengers in Greek mythology. Comfrey and Bull Thistle and Yarrow congregate happily with Lycos, all favourites for bees and other pollinators.

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