Vancouver mask company speaks out after flood of hateful messages

Crown Mutual Medical Group has been manufacturing medical masks since the beginning of the pandemic. The former marketing company is one of many businesses that was forced to pivot when COVID-19 began plaguing the country.

The company tells CTV News Vancouver it recently posted an advertising video on Facebook, echoing the provincial government’s mask mandate and asking people to please get vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19..

“The intensity of the feedback kept growing,” said Sean McKay, the company’s marketing director. “The next thing we knew, we had over 130 comments on our Facebook page, each of them angrier than the next.”

From accusing the company to being part of a conspiracy theory to peddling propaganda, the comments became too overwhelming and forced the company to pull the plug on the ad.

“We know people are tired of COVID,” McKay said. “We’re definitely tired of COVID too. We make masks, but I think people need to look a little further under the surface here because we’re here to help. We’re here to make medical masks to keep people safe.”

Many businesses have been targeted throughout the pandemic for making personal protective equipment like masks. Complaints escalated this summer, when health officials lifted the mask mandate in B.C. and left it up to businesses to decide whether to require them.

With less than two weeks to go until B.C.’s vaccine passport system rolls out, some fear the anger will only get worse.

“I think everyone has a right to doubt, ask questions and push back, but we have to remember that this is a unique situation that’s never happened before, but we’re all in it,” McKay said. “We’re all subject. And we should all want to help each other.”