Well, lets start off by saying a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family wherever you are. This one is definitely one for the history books!
Normally, we’d be packing up the kids and pets to travel to family get togethers all over the province. Not this year. I hope that you’re following public safety precautions and staying home with your immediately family. Right now it looks like it’s the safest thing to do, to keep us from going into full lockdown.
The thing is, could this have been avoided? I’m leaning to say yes. For weeks, the provincial government has been ignoring calls from public health doctors and epidemiologists to invoke regulations and limitations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Only Friday did the Ford government comply. Will it be enough to have people change plans? We’ll find out in two weeks I suppose.
Too Little Too Late?
The messaging surrounding the second wave has been muddied at best. Contradictory advice has well lead to confusion. No one has a clear path forward to handle their social and professional interactions while this pandemic continues.
We are told to limit our interactions to a 10 person social bubble, and yet can gather in a casino or restaurant filled with 50 people.
We are told that there will be steep financial penalties for violators of gathering limits, and yet we’ve had two house parties and a car rally in the province, to date zero charges have been laid.
We are told to watch our social distancing and the number of people we are in close proximity to, and yet we are forced to send our children into tightly packed classrooms of 25 students. Far above the recommended limit of 15.
Perhaps its no surprise that a comment like this from Ontario’s Public Health Officer is sparking such an outrage from Ontarians:
So what is going on?
The thing is, I don’t know. I suspect you don’t either. And that is the problem. We’ve been getting conflicting information from multiple levels of government. The Prime Minister says to stay home and don’t visit family for Thanksgiving. Toronto Public Health recommends shutting down restaurants for a period time to control the spread. The provincial government says to follow the above mentioned guidelines and all will be fine.
It’s no wonder our case numbers are rising so dramatically. We don’t know what to do. It was easy for Ford to shut down our economy. It was easy to slowly reopen restaurants patios. It is proving much more difficult to come up with a plan to address life and an economy that functions in a pandemic. The provincial governments had time during the summer months to come up with a plan of attack. The warm weather and low case numbers should’ve been a sign of a calm before the storm. Where was the task force to come up with a return to school, testing program and social distancing guidelines to permit all this.
It would’ve taken some money to be spent, regulations to be changed possibly, and a coherent communications and leadership strategy to get the province on board. It would’ve taken hard work. Instead, we got Doug Ford taking a victory lap in Southwestern Ontario. They passed the buck to us and are now blaming us for fumbling the pass.
It’s not fair and it’s a failure on their part. As numbers continue to rise it should be a reminder to all of us, of the missed opportunity of real vision and leadership that could’ve avoided this entire mess.