A little confidence can go a long way…

I fear that there is a new complacency out there. As the country reopens our economy stage by stage, province by province the consensus seems to be, we’ve beat this thing lets go back to the way things were. Perhaps that is why Dr. Tam, needed to issue a reminder that COVID-19 is still a thing and can come back and bite us in the butt if we’re not ready.

Here in Ontario, we’ve reopened into stage 2. The highlight of which is that haircuts are now available and patios are open for business. All under new guidelines for operating. The problem is that there is no enforcement of these guidelines. When probed on this idea of enforcement, Premier Doug Ford responded with a shrug and stating its impossible to do. I’m sorry Doug, but in this case the honour system isn’t going to cut it.

It might seem anathema to conservatives, but regulations are actually a good thing. They create a baseline for everyone in an industry to operate from. You don’t have to worry about your competitor doing something underhanded or ignoring safety protocols. They also send a clear message to the public, that these places are safe to conduct business in. In my hometown, a very popular restaurant needed to post this to social media:

There are other restaurants that at first glance appear to be not adhering to social distancing protocols. Now they might be, but here’s the thing, there is no confidence that if they are not there will be consequences. The argument of not being able to enforce it is already moot. Restaurants already are under inspection by regional public health units for cleanliness in their operations as well as adherence to fire codes for occupancy numbers. I really don’t see how criteria can’t be expanded to include distancing measures or ensuring minimum numbers are being followed.

If restaurants are aware that public health officials will once again be making surprise visits to their establishments, responsible ones will make sure that safety is paramount to the patrons experience. Posts like the ones above won’t be necessary. The public will already have the confidence that the restaurant they are visiting is complying with social distancing guidelines to give them the safest experience possible.

Regulations help to ensure confidence in an industry. People know the bare minimum is being adhered to. It allows business owners to not worry that a competitor is skirting the rules. Or that they themselves aren’t in full compliance. The kicker to all of this is that we already have the infrastructure in place to make this work. We don’t need to worry about a huge investment of time and money into making sure this succeeds. All that’s lacking right now is the will to do it.


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