Don’t let your guard down

Dickenson Bay beach

Who said the COVID-19 panademic is over ?

Well, the way thousands of people packed Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto on Saturday, one of the first warm days of the year, one might have believed that the  deadly virus had finally disappeared.

But if you did think the pandemic is over, think again.

Some politicians may lead us to believe that as far as COVID-19 is concerned, the worst is  behind us and things are getting back to “normal.”

 What is “normal”? The truth of the matter is that we really do not know if the first wave of the pandemic is over and when we will be hit by the second. So keep your distance and don’t throw away your mask.

Unfortunately, Toronto Mayor John Tory was not properly wearing his mask during his visit to Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday.

The mayor had visited the park after crowds were seen ignoring physical distancing by-laws and provincial orders prohibiting more than five people from gathering.

Images of the mayor talking to people at the downtown park with his mask pulled down circulated on social media.

The mayor has since apologized  for failing to use his mask properly.

It must have been an embarrassing experience for Mayor Tory but one from which we can all can learn.

We should also pay attention to what the medical experts are saying.

One of them is Dr. Sandy Buchman, president of the Canadian Medical Association, who lives near Trinity Bellwoods Park  and has been warning Canadians against complacency in the battle against COVID-19.

He noted that there’s never been a pandemic in recorded history that has not had a second wave and  that usually it’s worse than the first one.”

Dr. Buchman has said that a second wave could likely hit in the fall, but — like the first one — the arrival date and impact will vary by region,

But are Canadians really  prepared for the second wave?

Unfortunately, many in Toronto are still not taking this  matter seriously.

We keep hearing complaints from people who say they are tired remaining “cooped up” in their homes and are prepared to ignore the restrictions imposed during the current pandemic .

And what about people in other areas such as the Caribbean?

In Trinidad we are hearing about COVID-19 poolside parties. In some other islands preachers are reported to be breaking the laws  by holding religious services.

And Bahamians are not taking the curfew and lockdown restrictions seriously, according Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes.The magistrate made the comment earlier this week when four people appeared before him and pleaded guilty to “violating the lockdown.” They were arrested on the street an hour after the lockdown began and allegedly told police officer that they were “chilling.” They were each  ordered to pay a fine of $500 or serve two months in prison       

Only last Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO)  warned that countries lifting public health restrictions too early could see an “immediate second peak” in COVID-19 cases, even if new diagnoses are currently declining in their region.

In a virtual press briefing, Dr. Michael Ryan of the WHO said that although cases are on their way down in many countries, the world is still “right in the middle of the first wave, globally.”

While Ontario and Quebec are easing restrictions imposed during the current pandemic, we should continue to observe the laws which are imposed for our own safety.

Don’t let your guard down..  Remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.