It's good that Vancouverites are using gloves and masks to try to keep safe during the pandemic. But the street isn't the best place to toss your waste at the best of times, especially now. Locals are furious about used gloves in Vancouver becoming the new norm all over streets and public areas and one local mayor is outraged.
"If you think something is contaminated, leaving it for others is about the most selfish thing you could do," said Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam, in a video posted on Facebook.
Over the past several days, Vancouverites have noticed used gloves and masks discarded around the city. People flocked to Twitter and Facebook, complaining about the rise in potentially dangerous material.
It's possible that leaving gloves and masks lying around could spread disease. Masks and gloves don't kill viruses.
Instead, they can actually allow viruses to survive the surface, for days even according to Health Canada. This could then be spread to other people if left around.
"I get it, you wear gloves because you want to shield your hands from the virus," wrote Stewart of Facebook.
"As a result, you discard them rather than put them in a garbage bag in your car," he continued.
The mayor called this behaviour "especially selfish and antisocial," and even considered doling out huge fines for people caught doing so.
"Perhaps a $10,000 fine would be in order for discarding used masks/gloves?" he added.
Narcity reached out to Stewart and the City of Vancouver for comment. This article will be updated.
Stewart isn't the only official aware of the trend. Metro Vancouver officials told Global News they've also gotten feedback regarding litter and said they're asking people to bag their waste after disposal.
This is so selfish and gross Vancouver! These were most (not all) the used gloves and 1 mask that I saw in a 5 bloc… https://t.co/VuTv3xekpv— Angella⭐️King (@Angella⭐️King)1585867697.0
Paul Henderson, solid waste services general manager of Metro Vancouver, told Global News he wasn't sure whether the waste could spread disease. However, he said that picking up the waste would help the community feel safer.
This whole situation seems to be affecting places all over Canada. Earlier, Toronto officials also spoke up about the same thing.
Park. Find discarded #PPE. Scowl #COVID19 #Vancouver https://t.co/SS4SaNzhfo— Streetcrow (@Streetcrow)1586140572.0
While Canada recently recommended the use of face masks in certain situations, they have no statement on the use of gloves as a safety measure.
"We can't look out only for ourselves, we need to all be in this together," wrote Stewart.