Ten Months In, Border Shutdown Remains for All But “Essential Traffic” Extended Until At Least January 21st, 2021
So Why Is It That Thousands of ‘Canadian Snowbirds’ Get to Fly Down to a COVID-19 ‘Death Zone’ Like Florida?
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Given the horrific numbers of people now dying and being tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, it goes without saying that Canada’s Prime Minister would announce, once again, that the Peace Bridge and all other Canada-U.S. border crossings here and from sea to polluted sea have been closed for at least one more month now.
The border crossing ban, for all but “essential,” mostly commercial traffic, began last March when the first serious outbreaks of Coronavirus began, and probably few of us believed that governments – mostly the “It will disappear like a miracle Trump nut show – would handle it all so badly, that we would still be hear with a border ban today.
“Oh, it will probably only be a few months,” I recall many saying of the border restrictions back then.
But this global health catastrophe has been handled badly enough on this continent that here we are. In the United States alone, the death toll from COVID-19 is now reaching 300,000 and counting – more than died in combat in Vietnam, Korea, Word War I and almost any other combination of wars.
Yet there is the U.S. President, reportedly spending most of his waking hours, between games of golf, working to overturn the results of a recent presidential election he lost to a guy he has called “Sleepy Joe.”
So it makes all the sense in the world that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at least, would be all for keeping the border crossings closed.
“To protect Canadians and to reduce the possible burden travellers could place on our health care system due to COVID-19, travel restrictions are in place across all ports of entry,” said Trudeau in a statement.
What does not make any sense to me is why thousands of Canadians, who call themselves “Snowbirds,” cannot so much as cross the Peace Bridge to visit a friend in Buffalo, New York, but can get on an jet plane to spend a winter in one of the more COVID-19 plagued states on the continent – Florida.
According to recent reports in the mainstream media, about one third of those who identify as “Canadian Snowbirds” have done or are still planning to do just that – jumped on a plane and spend the winter in a state where the current governor has a strong record of not giving a damn about doing anything sensible to protect people against this killer virus.
As a friend in Buffalo, New York – who would dearly love to cross the border, even for a few hours, to visit an elderly relative here in Niagara – said of these so-called Snowbirds; “Why would then want to travel to a death zone?”
Indeed, I have some friends on the U.S. side of the border that have a home in Ontario they love to spend the winter in. They are responsible people and I have every reason to believe them when they say they have done everything they can, in their lives, to take care of themselves, and they would be willing to get tested for COVID and self-isolate for however many days necessary if they could only cross over to their home.
But no. They can’t cross a border bridge to a home they own here and yet Canada’s federal government allows this outrageous loophole where people – mostly seniors who are more vulnerable to the COVID virus – can get on a plane and spend the winter in one of the worst hotspots for this lethal plague in the world.
In a CBC interview, one of these ‘Snowbirds’ said he’s going because he likes the warm weather and the “cheap rum.” Does he also want to possibly get terribly sick and die?
This is one Canadian who certainly hopes that we don’t have to pay through our country’s health insurance for the hospital bills for people who are that foolish and irresponsible. And what kind of risk do the rest of us face from possibly being in the same grocery store with these people when they come back?
If I were in charge (and it is probably a good thing that I am not), I would say to these people; “If you want to go down there during a dangerous time like this, you are on your own. And if we are still in a state of emergency with this virus this coming spring, don’t even think about coming back!”
Canadians back home should not have to pay a penny of any COVID-19 related health costs they may incur either.
Why is Canada’s Prime Minister and his government allowing this outrageous Snowbird business to happen during a catastrophic health crisis like this? Why is it that you can’t cross the border to the United States in a car but you can get on a plane and fly to any place in that country you want?
Do you somehow develop magically immunity to this virus on a plane?
From people I know, who can’t even cross the Peace Bridge for a few hours to visit beloved relatives and friends, or to check in on a property they own, I demand to know why you are banned if you are driving a car, but are in like flint if you take a plane?
What gives with this, Mr. Prime Minister?
To read an instructive story CBC recently posted on these Snowbird nutbars, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/snowbirds-seniors-travel-advisory-canada-u-s-border-covid-19-1.5799456
To read a piece Niagara At Large recently posted on what a responsible Buffalo, New York area Congressman is doing to one day begin re-opening our border crossings in a safe mannger, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/12/02/buffalo-n-y-area-congressman-asks-biden-administration-to-prioritize-canada-u-s-border-strategy/ .
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