Ku­dos to Ot­tawa Pub­lic Health

Ottawa Citizen - - Opinion -

I live in Montreal, but my hus­band and I will soon move to Ot­tawa to live close to our son, who is a pub­lic ser­vant.

For med­i­cal rea­sons, I can­not tol­er­ate masks or other face cov­er­ings. I suf­fer from trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia, of­ten re­ferred to as the “sui­cide dis­ease” be­cause of the in­ten­sity of the suf­fer­ing it gen­er­ates. If one is af­flicted with trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia, even mild stim­u­la­tion of the face — such as putting on a mask — can trig­ger a jolt of ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain that can per­sist for weeks or months.

In Que­bec I have been barred from most en­closed pub­lic spaces. I have been treated rudely, bul­lied and un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously sent pack­ing. Gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties and other of­fi­cials have been curt, hec­tor­ing and un­re­spon­sive when I lodged com­plaints.

When I wrote to Ot­tawa Pub­lic Health to ask about your city’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of the mask by­law, I re­ceived a cour­te­ous, kind and de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion of how your mu­nic­i­pal­ity is supporting and pro­tect­ing peo­ple with con­di­tions that pre­vent them from wear­ing the mask.

Bravo, Ot­tawa Pub­lic Health!

Anne Sch­lenker, Montreal

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