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Thoughts On Ontario's New COVID-19 Lockdown

Ontario announced a province-wide shutdown starting Boxing Day. Lockdown will remain in place for most areas until Jan 23, 2021. In the northern part of the province, lockdown will expire Jan. 9, 2021. 

The rules of the lockdown includes:

  • - No social gathers that include anyone outside your family household
  • - No indoor public events
  • - Non-essential businesses must remain closed
  • - Discount and big box stores must limit capacity to 25%
  • - Grocery stores and pharmacies must limit capacity to 50%
  • - Hardware stores and pet stores limited to curbside pickup
  • - Casinos, sport facilities, hair salons, personal care services are all to be closed

The lockdown is being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ontario health system is currently being stretched to capacity. The Ontario government believes these new safety measures will give health services the ability to properly treat their patients without the system being overridden.

There are many issues with the new lockdown. While they do take certain steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, there are many issues.

1. Why does the lockdown begin Boxing Day - Dec. 26, 2020? If the situation is so dire, why is the government not implementing the lockdown immediately. Premier Doug Ford said that it's for certain businesses to have the time to deplete their supplies (restaurants, etc). These businesses could have been forced to move immediately to take-out or delivery, which would allow them to use their supplies, while taking additional safety measures limiting the spread of COVID-19. 

2. While the lockdown is in place, flights to Ontario (domestic and international) are still allowed. Passengers arriving in Ontario are not tested for COVID-19 upon landing and the quarantine process has minimal supervision. If the province truly wants to implement a lockdown with merit, international flights should have been halted. This safeguard would contribute to lowering the spread of COVID-19.

3. Certain measures in the lockdown make little sense. Ski hills are forced to close, while neighbourhood skating rinks are allowed to stay open. You're allowed to cross country ski, but downhill is prohibited. Discount or big box retailers are allowed to stay open at 25% capacity, meanwhile local retailers are forced to close. Why is Costco allowed to remain open, while a small local retailer that sells similar goods is forced to close?

4. Drive-In and drive through events are forced to close during the lockdown. Why? There is no social interaction during these events. People are in their own cars. While there is merit in forcing these events/locations to modify operations, to force them to close during the lockdown does not make sense.

5. Facilities for professional sports teams will be allowed to remain open. Local gyms and fitness centers are forced to close, however pro sports can remain open. While professional sports are a fantastic distraction for everyone stuck at home during the pandemic, the continuity of the lockdown is questioned when professional athletes are allowed to train while all other fitness locations are forced to close operations.

To find out what is allowed to remain open and what is closed, you can click HERE

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