There’s a system in place in Ontario to measure the threat level and to categorize services as easily as possible. It’s known as the Stages, and starting at 1 and ending at 3 it’s been how the province has organized its COVID-19 response plans. This system isn’t unique to Ontario, as most provinces, States and countries at this point along have implemented something similar. But there’s a frustrating imbalance in this province, as the one half of the parties who live in the smaller towns and cities are looking to move even further along towards reopening their businesses. However the other camp predominately live in large cities like Toronto, and thus are not ready for things to be forced open yet still due to virus concerns. Virus cases continue to appear in not only Toronto, but in other major spots in the six neighborhoods. Meanwhile due to sparser population and a lower living proximity density the rural areas are seeing cases decline. This duality is problematic, but also something being faced in New York State, California and as internationally as Paris and London as well.
Stage 2 in Ontario has also seen the implementation of many bylaws and policies to help ensure public safety. Masks are now mandatory in most businesses, and even the transit system requires all riders to don the appropriate facial coverings. The execution of these rules however, has left many people doubting the effectiveness. TTC officials have given numerous statements since June condemning persons not wearing masks while riding trains, but routinely are exposed with photographs of drivers and operators also not wearing their masks. In the private sector as well many people have declined to enforce the mask regulations, and are often complicit in serving a client who’s disregarded all COVID-19 advice. Thankfully less abundant than in the United States, but Ontario has also seen a rash of “mask protest” increasing, with people both gathering to protest against masks as well as those who simply refuse to wear one in their daily lives. We’re now seeing the Toronto Police stepping up their efforts to combat this and enforce the safety policies. Hopefully they can educate those who are being defiant as to the dangers of their activity.
There hasn’t been a time as tumultuous as this for Ontario in nearly 60 years. We’re all trying to make the best of a world where COVID-19 could be lurking around every corner or on any person. So the best way to navigate this all is with am ask on, and by listening to the health information given to you by the experts. They’re experts for a reason!
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