Yesterday was a big day for us. Essex County (or most of it) is out of Stage 1 and into Stage 2 with the COVID recovery. We celebrated by going out to dine on a patio that’s part of the downtown open air plan. You may have read about it here.
It started out delightfully, hand sanitizer as we entered and we were seated on the patio quite a distance from anyone else. It was clear that the restaurant had taken this very seriously. We watched our server as she waited on people and the sterilized their tables and menus with each group of customers. Now, truth be told, the server is a family member so we got the entire story and how she’s had to enforce the “put on a mask” rule to go into the restroom. It seemed to work well.
Then, as we were enjoying our lunch, a BIG group of people came walking down the street. This was either the biggest family ever or a group that really didn’t understand the concept of social distancing. There wasn’t a mask in sight but everyone was dressed incredibly nicely. My wife guessed that it might be a big wedding until we saw some mortar boards. This was a big graduation event.
They all walked past the bylaw officer without comment so I guess he thought they were distanced. We were across the road so maybe our perspective was wrong.
Essex County claimed to be wronged when the rest of the province had the chance to move to Stage 2 and we were left behind. There was a review and since the number of positive cases came from migrant farm workers, most of the county eventually got to move to Stage 2, except Kingville and Leamington. I feel for those folks; I have good friends in Leamington and we meet monthly for a lunch. That hasn’t happened since February.
It’s the numbers and the statistics that are curious. As the Premier noted, the workers were not positive until they got here so we can’t point fingers at them. In trying to stay on top of this, I’ve been following the news media which gives kind of a fuzzy overview of things. Inevitably, it’s noted that Toronto is happy but we’re not.
So, I decided to go deeper with statistics and ended up finding this fabulous resource from Public Health Ontario. The overview map lets you mouse over counties to see actual numbers. I found this so helpful as news tends to be local or Toronto-based.
This data tool is so flexible with all the data that’s available.
When looking at data by health unit and digging into the spikes you can see the big story by district.
There’s no doubt that there’s a visible leap in numbers here. Of course, the y-axis allows you to put the numbers in perspective. I can see the Premier’s concern for our area.
I just wish that everyone would take the time to realize what’s happening. We see the numbers from US and European sources all the time. The graph shows how sensitive to change in numbers that we’re experiencing.
This tool lets us dig into our community. We need to be smart about what we’re doing folks.