Too many people in Canada are interpreting social distancing guidelines in their own way
As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to see a rise in cases at home and all over the world, public health and government officials have been calling for Canadians to take social distancing measures seriously for quite some time now.
But as days go by and a significant number of Canadians continue to refuse to take said calls to heart, the federal government will soon be forced to amp up enforcement measures if something doesn't change fast.
@CPHO_Canada People are not listening and following your requests for social distancing, staying home etc. When will Canada take a stronger stand against this monster? My family and I are following all the rules - Please do something to ensure all Canadians are too!!!!!!!!!!!— LivinginVictoria (@LivinginVictor1) March 23, 2020
Social distancing — which means staying home as much as possible and only going out for the necessities as well as keeping a 2 m distance from other people — may seem like a fairly simple concept to many.
But over the past few days, social media users in Canada have taken to different platforms to point out residents who either don't understand the concept or simply refuse to practice it.
Here are the people of Vancouver, engaging in social distancing on Kitsilano Beach yesterday afternoon, after mayor said he would declare a state of emergency. Read all about it. And seriously Vancouver. Get with the fricking program. https://t.co/mmBbdYI5NA pic.twitter.com/4LhLwJYALd— Ian Young (@ianjamesyoung70) March 19, 2020
In Vancouver, for example, the beaches and boardwalks were filled with residents this past weekend — with one Twitter user even calling the city "the Florida of Canada."
And in Toronto, hundreds of shoppers lined up outside EB Games just days ago to purchase newly released video games.
Some appear to be interpreting social distancing in their own way and doing whatever they want, but experts and leaders continue to emphasize that this is no time to skirt the rules.
To the people who seem to think they’re invincible: You’re not. So go home and stay home. You’re not just putting yourself at risk, you’re putting others at risk too - nurses and doctors, grocery store workers, your grandparents, and so many others. #StayAtHomeSaveLives— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 23, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said just that in a press conference outside Rideau Cottage Monday morning.
"Enough is enough. Go home and stay home," the PM said. "This is what we all need to be doing and we're going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks or by enforcing the rules if that's needed. Nothing that could help is off the table."
Provincial and municipal leaders have echoed similar sentiments over the past few days, with Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hadju saying yesterday that various levels of government may have to increase measures to "contain people in their own homes" if residents continue to defy calls to self-isolate.
So while social distancing may be boring and impractical, so too will be our lives for an extended period of time if the government is forced to declare a lockdown like California, Italy and other places have had to do in the face of the COVID-pandemic.
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