So PLEASE, STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, and when you have to go out, PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING
It is Time for Authorities to Crack Down on those who go on acting like this killer virus is ‘fake news’. The irresponsible behaviour of a few is endangering us all.
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted April 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – According to Niagara Region Public Health, the latest count, as of this past Saturday, April 4th at noon, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 or Coronavirus in this Niagara region has climbed to 123.
Out of these 123 reported cases, 26 individuals confirmed to have the virus have “recovered” or have been “resolved,” according to Niagara Region Public Health, and that is encouraging.
Quite tragically, at least seven people in Niagara, Ontario that health authorities know of have died.
Please keep in mind that the very first confirmed case of Coronavirus in Niagara, Ontario was reported barely more than three weeks ago on March 12th, and the first death was reported barely more than a week ago, during the last full week of March.
That all means that the number of cases and the number of deaths related to Coronavirus in Niagara, Ontario are growing exponentially, meaning that the upward slope of the line of the graph – that line that doctors and nurses and other frontline health care workers are so desperately hoping to see flattened to keep from overwhelming our health care system – has been rising more steeply over the past three or four weeks.
Let us all absorb that reality in the context of some of the grim figures, based on science-based modelling, that the Ontario government released this past April 3rd that the province could see a death count of up to 15,000, even if ALL OF US practice the social or what I prefer to call physical distancing, and stay at home unless you absolutely have to go our measures that we are currently urged to heed now.
Early this April 4th, I woke up at about 2 or 3 a.m.., as I often do these days, with a thought that is equally as grim as those modelling projections – that it may very well be the case that, even if we are all careful, there are thousands of people in Ontario who are alive now, and may not even have symptoms, who won’t be here a month or two from now.
One can only hope that the projections are wrong, but then as Aristotle said; “hope is a waking dream,” and unfortunately, not all of our dreams come true.
So we have to continue to do everything we can to flatten that curve and see it slope down.
In that regard, when I take the odd spin in my car just to see what is going on out there or I have to go to a store to buy some groceries, I see and hear some really stupid behaviour out there by people who appear to be going around as if all of this is “fake news,” or as that orange-hair, nut-bar in the White House said just weeks ago, news of this this killer virus is a “hoax” being perpetrated by anti-Trump or “never Trumpers’ who want him out of office, or that it is little more than a “minor flu” that, by some “miracle” will disappear in a matter of days or weeks.
A little more than a week ago, Trump was floating the mad idea to the millions who worship him in his country and other parts of the world that it would all be over in time to pack the churches and get back to business as usual by Easter which is, as of the time of this posting, now only seven days away.
And here in Niagara, Ontario, and despite the declaration of a “state of emergency” by our regional government and 12 local municipalities this past April 3rd, I continue to receive emails from concerned readers out there who see people crowded together, coughing and sneezing within an arm-length of others, brushing by people in a grocery store aisle, and so on.
Just a day or two after the region-wide emergency declaration, at least one of Niagara’s daily newspapers published a picture of hundreds of people who looked like they were glued together along a sidewalk along the Ontario side of the Niagara River where crowds normally go to view the Horseshoe Falls.
This is unconscionable at a time when we have been told that thousands in Ontario alone, including residents in this region, will likely die from this highly infectious virus in the weeks ahead.
People who crowd along the Falls or at other places not only put their own lives in jeopardy. They then move around in the larger community and endanger the rest of us.
We need our police, the OPP, Niagara Regional Police and Niagara Parks Police, to use recent fines and possible jail terms that senior levels of government have put in place – police officers who, by the way, are risking their own lives while out there doing their job – to crack down now on these reckless individuals and on any public or private-sector body that allows or encourages this dangerous behaviour.
It is time to begin throwing the book at those who violate the protective measures in place, and the names of the perpetrators should be published in the media so that we all know who they are.
If the police are going to turn the names of people who have been charged with driving while drunk over to the media, which they have, they should certainly do it for this.
That is my rant all of this for now.
Please everyone. Stay home, stay safe and keep on with the physical distancing until this plague is behind us.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large, with apologies for any and all typos or run-on sentences at a time when it is a little hard to focus.
(P.S. – If any of you see people out there crowded together or behaving in ways that disrespect the protective measures most of us are now working to live by, call the police, let your municipal representatives now, and if you have a device that can capture it as a photo or image, send that along with the time, location and any other details to the proper authorities.
Niagara At Large will continue to accept such information too, including jpeg images, and will consider posting them. Our email address for sharing such information is firstname.lastname@example.org.)