Nearly 10 months into the pandemic, Canadians are getting tired of continuous lockdowns, mask wearing, and distancing.
At this point, many people would rather return to normal life and risk getting sick than continue to live in isolation.
During the holiday season, a time where people typically spendStarting on December 26th at 12:01am, Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a lockdown that will once again require extreme isolation and preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In Southern Ontario, restrictions will be in place until January 23, and in Northern Ontario, restrictions will last until January 9th.
While Toronto and surrounding areas have had an increase in cases, the lockdown affects the entire province without much justification.
In Ottawa, where over a million people live, there are 415 active cases but no one is currently in intensive care.
Due to their low COVID numbers, Mayor Jim Watson was in strong opposition to a lockdown that will shut down many businesses, churches, gyms, and affect the mental health of Ottawa’s population.
Even Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer, was not in favour of the lockdown, and alongside Watson called the lockdown irrational.
The Premier’s response was that “...it is reckless and irresponsible for Ottawa’s Mayor and Medical Officer to denounce Ontario’s province-wide shutdown. Some politicians and pundits may be okay with body bags piling up on their front door steps but we are not.”
The truth is that in Ottawa, body bags aren’t piling up outside doors because of COVID-19. The Premier is using language that makes it seem Ottawa and other cities across Ontario are losing citizens left and right, but this is just fear mongering.
What’s really happening right now is that small cities and towns in Ontario are paying for what’s happening in Toronto, where about 30%of the province's cases are.
In many places in Ontario, there are barely any cases, and yet these areas are still facing business shutdowns equal to that of Toronto.
Additionally, the government is completely ignoring the impact of the lockdowns on mental health. In a study by the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in 10 Canadians have contemplated suicide since the pandemic began.
lots of time with family and celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year”, Canadians have instead been forced to spend this time alone.
This has had a severe impact on mental health, and leads to what should be the most cheerful season becoming a time of depression.
For the Premier to say that churches are not essential while once again keeping liquor and cannabis stores open shows what the government values.
On top of that, people don’t trust the directive of the government right now. Last time they promised only a few weeks of lockdown it lasted a few months.
There is a general wariness of the reliability of what the government says across Canada right now, people have seen a lot of promises broken.
With the lockdown lasting until the 23rd, Ontario better reopen as promised or risk the mental health along with the trust of their citizens.