I hate life with COVID these days. I hate wearing a mask. I hate being limited to small gatherings. I hate that I couldn’t do anything other than a staycation this past summer. I hate that I wasn’t able to visit my home town and my parents’ cemetery. But, I follow the advice given by our leaders.
My friend Colin Jagoe said it very well in context of his world yesterday on Twitter.
We had a couple of examples yesterday as reported in the Toronto Sun.
The first example was a photo taken of Health Minister Patty Hajdu sitting in a lounge at Toronto’s Pearson Airport maskless. Her Twitter message later indicated that she was either eating or drinking in the lounge. There was nothing in the picture to indicate that. However, there also was nobody else close to her in the photo. Without context, I really can’t go any further.
The second example is a picture of Sam Oosterhoff, the parliamentary assistant for our Education Minister. In addition to the picture in the article above, this post from Yahoo! shows additional photos
The photos were posted to Facebook and have subsequently been removed. From his own provincial guidelines…
Keep two metres apart from people outside your immediate household
Wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and any time physical distancing is a challenge
Social gatherings and events
As of September 19, 2020, the gathering limits for events and gatherings are:
indoor: 10 people
outdoor: 25 people
There are so many violations visible in those images.
Count the people; they certainly exceed the government limit of 10 people for indoor gatherings. Count the smiling faces.
And yet, our Premier, when asked at a press conference about the incident said that Oosterhoff’s apology was enough. At the same Ontario website, there are fines of $750 for anyone found guilty of violating things. Certainly rushing to Facebook to remove the images is an admission of guilt in my eyes.
Previously, I had praised our Premier for what I perceived as responsible leadership in the province during these times. But, all that goes away when we see something like this. Where is the tough guy Premier who calls out “yahoos” for misbehaviour?
It’s not like this COVID thing is new. We’ve all been dealing with this for months now. The rules are modified regularly but the basis advice about mask wearing and social distancing remains.
Apparently the rules don’t apply to everyone. This gentlemen works for the same Ministry of Education that is creating and applying rules for classroom for the safety of all. Are those people in the picture now quarantining themselves or getting tested? Where are the fines? How can an MPP who violates his own government’s mandate escape sanctions?
I can’t imagine the outrage that would have emerged if Colin had taken a class photo much like the one that was taken from that event.