People protesting mask-wearing and other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic lined the intersection of the old Island Highway and Aulds Road on Saturday. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

People protesting mask-wearing and other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic lined the intersection of the old Island Highway and Aulds Road on Saturday. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Anti-maskers hold rally along the highway in Nanaimo

More than 50 people gather at old Island Highway-Aulds Road intersection

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More than 50 people gathered Saturday in Nanaimo to protest mask-wearing and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesman for the group who declined to give his name to the News Bulletin said governments have orchestrated a pandemic of fear as a way to control populations and said mask regulations are about conditioning people to submit.

A poster promoting the rally read: “No masks, no social distancing, no contract tracing, no quarantines, no temperature checks, no vaccines.”

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March. Since then, there have been more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases in B.C. and 245 deaths. Public health officials recommend hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks to help control the spread of the virus. For more health and safety information, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s website at this link.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, issued a joint statement Friday, asking British Columbians to do all they can to protect one another over the long weekend by following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines that provide “layers of protection.”

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