Three Months of Sheltering in Place
Ontario has only flattened the curve, and it has reached a plateau. I would have more confidence in the approach Canada's second largest (and therefore second greatest) province took if we've increased hospital resources if we need to accommodate a rise in cases, but I don't have a close enough read on that. So far the large outdoor gatherings that finger-wavers thought would lead to spikes have been benign, but I expect a second wave sometime in the colder months when we spend a larger amount of our day indoors. As long as we've developed runbooks and we've increased resources available for when (not if) the second wave hits, I'm not too worried about the strain on our health care system. Canada's neighbour to the south, that I'm not so sure about.
The Ontario government has split the province into two regions, which is to say The Greater Toronto Area (which I cal Ontario 1) and outside the GTA (Ontario 2). I largely support the move since the province is too big (and therefore too great) to administer as one unit in a situation like this, but I worry since I've in the region that isn't opening up as much as the other region. I've taken to calling it "loosening up" since that has been my feeling of the last two weeks. The reasons for that are:
- I get beer delivered rather than pick it up at the LCBO, a process which has made it a lot easier to drink every craft beer made in Ontario. If I was drinking only on weekends or on nights before a holiday, in order to cut down on the next day's brain fog. The pandemic changed that habit to about a beer a day. Only one on days before a workday, though. This is only to take the edge off, not to drown my sorrows.
The Lakeshore Boulevard Activeway is real, and it’s spectacular. #ActiveTO #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/LVTP4hNH25
— Richard Brynj ó l f s s o n (@sillygwailo) May 16, 2020
- The City of Toronto has opened some of its major streets as activeways for people wanting to get some exercise and maintain physical distance on weekends. I don't expect the Lakeshore Boulevard Activeway to be permanent, or at least not open to cyclists and whatnot in the colder months, but it's a big hit, and I hope they learn something from it for next year's warmer months, pandemic or no pandemic.
- Businesses re-opening and the possibility of increased ability to do things if we wear a face covering (which I'm on board with), even if it means no concerts or street festivals for a little while. I'm trying not to rationalize not being able to do things ("I didn't like [x] anyway"), but it has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I miss and what I don't miss.
We're getting there. The months of May and now June have passed faster than the months of March and April. I still have optimism about treatments and a vaccine, if only because the survival of the current system depends on it. As we've seen with the rise in support for the Black Lives Matter movement, it has long been obvious that the current system was not tenable for a very large portion of North American population. Due to the confluence of the pandemic, the resulting furloughs and layoffs, the slow, painful, agonizing death of a Black man at the hands (or, rather, the knee) of police caught on camera in Minneapolis, the resulting fall in popularity of an already-unpopular President, the overdue removal of monuments celebrating the lost effort to conserve slavery, the painful and welcome realization that Canada's institutions are not necessarily less racist than those of the United States, hopefully a new system (which still welcomes treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19) will take its place so both the United States and Canada can truly emerge better for having gone through this pandemic.