… as selected Ontario communities, including Ottawa, where I live, leave the modified Stage 2 precautions (which, amongst other things, closed fitness clubs and restaurants) which were imposed because COVID-19 infections were rising dramatically we will see a continuation of the rise in infections, all winter long.
I don’t have an informed opinion about whether it is safe or not to reopen fitness centres and to allow indoor dining again. I know my wife welcomes the chance to use her fitness club again, and I also know that she will walk out if there are too many people in the big room. I suppose she and I will, maybe as early as this week, walk into the downtown entertainment district and look to see which restaurants are offering what … my guess is that she and I will prefer to dine outside, by a nice open fire, if one is available and if the weather is fair, but we may go indoors if the place is not too crowded.
Personally, I think, based on what my wife and I have observed, that most fitness club managers and many restauranteurs are taking all the right precautions. The problem, it seems to me, is us. If too many of us want to gather with too many of our friends and especially with too many strangers, then I’m 100% sure that the infection rate will continue to rise. We are social creatures and we, especially the young, 20-something cohort, are especially social in times of stress. We seem to need human contact.
Perhaps, this is where elderly misanthropes like me have an advantage; I don’t much care for company; I don’t feel better in a crowd. For the next few months, at least, I will continue to avoid crowds and I will ‘mask up’ whenever I cannot maintain that good 2 metre separation from almost everyone else.
I am very concerned about the welfare of our local small businesses, especially the independent shops, restaurants and pubs that employ many of our fellow citizens. I understand that they need to reopen soon or, in many cases, go under. But I also understand that we all need to take some common-sense precautions and it seems to me that the most important one is to stay away from crowds, especially from crowds of strangers.
It is a balancing act and I am afraid that too many of us will put our understandable human ‘need’ for company and a desire for “fun” ahead of sensible safety precautions. It seems that ‘events’ are often ‘super-spreaders,’ and, it seems to me, that we, not governments, are best able to care for ourselves by not going to them.