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Sudbury woman holding a one-person demonstration on the importance of masking up

Jennifer Young suffered a stroke and says she is still medically vulnerable
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Jennifer Young of Sudbury is hoping other city residents will support her in her one-person demonstration of the need for more people to wear face masks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Young said there are many people who have hidden medical conditions but still need the protection of wearing a mask in public as well as protection from others. (Len Gillis / Sudbury.Com)

Sudbury woman Jennifer Young is all about wearing a face mask in public. In fact, she plans to demonstrate that position in the hope that others will follow her example. 

She will be outside of a medical office at 1596 Regent Street at 6:30 p.m. this evening (Nov. 16). She is hoping others will join her. 

Young is planning her public demonstration to put the message out that there are people with medical conditions who need others to wear their masks when they're out in public places.

"The reason why I wanted to come forward was my own personal battle with postpartum cardiomyopathy," Young explained. 

It was last winter that she had a stroke after the birth of her daughter. Young said one nagging question in her mind is whether she was infected with COVID-19 back then after being in contact with an international traveller. She said she still wonders if it is possible that somehow made her situation worse.

"I know it is a far-fetched claim, but it is not implausible," said Young.

Regardless, she said the situation now is that the pandemic appears to be in a new wave, but not enough people seem to take it seriously.

"It's not only our elderly people who are vulnerable. I had no underlying medical conditions prior to my stroke. I, at one point, thought I was going to die. It's a scary thing at 40 years old," said Young. 

She said she is hoping more people will put their personal reasons aside and wear a face mask in public and when they're around others. 

"You know people need to start having respect for each other," she added.

Young said she wants to make others aware that when women are pregnant, no matter what stage of pregnancy they’re in, they need to protect themselves.

"Because the consequences, well we just don't know. There's not enough science to know what that is going to do to your baby," she said. 

"I want Sudbury to listen up. I want Sudbury to pay attention. And I want Sudbury to show some respect. I think our province isn't giving enough.  I think our mayor is not giving enough. I don't feel safe here in Sudbury. I don't feel safe in my province," Young said.

She added that she has discovered there are many people in Sudbury who take the attitude that not wearing a mask is their own business. Young said she disagrees. She said as time goes on, medical experts are finding that masks can actually reduce the spread of disease. 

"It is incredibly challenging that people are ignorant of sound advice," said Young. "I want people to understand the importance of sticking together instead of arguing this out."

She said she is not sure whether her personal demonstration can make a change, but it is something she felt compelled to do.

"I am hoping they're going to see that it is important for me representing all the mothers out there. I hope those who care will stand with me and maybe we can make some positive changes here in Sudbury," she said. 

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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