Ontario curfew has some shortcomings, and what if it failed?

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Will Ontario follow Quebec’s lead and impose a province-wide curfew in hopes of curtailing the spread of COVID-19?

The controversial measure, which went into effect in Quebec on Saturday, is designed to force people to stay home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., thereby minimizing – or eliminating – the possibility of further social interaction for more than a third of the day. In theory, the strategy is intended to slow down the avalanche of positive cases.

As well intentioned as it might be, a curfew has its shortcomings. Not everyone works a nine-to-five job. There are many people who are either leaving for work between those hours or have just finished for the day. Are these people going to pulled over by police as they drive home from work at 10 p.m. and have to explain why they’re out and about at that hour?

My wife works an overnight shift and depends on me to drop her off for 10 p.m. each night. I certainly don’t want to be pulled over every evening and have to explain why I’m not at home. And if the police start to get ticket-happy after a while, they might not even want to hear why I’m on the road so late.

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The Quebec curfew is a short-term measure that is supposed to expire on Feb. 8. Presumably, if Ontario follows suit, its curfew will also be for a brief period – just long enough to see if the measure in fact will help beat down the numbers. We’ve reached a point where we’re starting to get drastic with the tactics necessary to prevent COVID from getting completely out of hand. I can’t imagine what might be next if lockdowns and curfews fail to work.

Meanwhile, those we entrust to lead us through this challenging period – i.e. our elected officials – are breaking the rules that they themselves have enacted and are supposed to be abiding by. A mittful of them have been outed over the past couple of weeks for flouting the missives of common sense that suggested they stay put during the holiday period and not travel overseas to warmer climes. Now these politicians are leaving office with their heads hung in shame. Did they honestly think they could escape the country for a week or more and no one would notice?

Who are we supposed to trust when these individuals cannot even do what they’re telling the rest of us to do?

When the curve began to flatten last summer, we were confident we’d be out of this mess perhaps by the end of the calendar year or perhaps early in 2021 at the very latest. Here we are not even a month into the year and the situation is worse than ever. At this rate, it might be a longshot to think that the end might come in 2022.

We have a couple of proven vaccines available now, but it’s unlikely the masses will get them anytime soon. There seems to be a lot of red tape to cut through to get this process going. Even though there would appear to be some light at the end of the tunnel, we seem to be taking one step forward and three giant leaps backward with each passing day. When this starts to even itself out is anyone’s guess.

In spite of this dark cloud that continues to hover above us, we need to keep our chins up and press forward. It’s going to take patience, smart choices and a lot of personal sacrifices, but this can be beaten.

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