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Editorial: We're Open Again...But, Not Really

Editorial: We're Open Again...But, Not Really

Posted: 2022-01-22 08:00:51 By: thebay

Yay … we’re open again! Oh, wait, not really … we’re in step-two of yet another multi-step re-opening plan.

On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford announced the re-opening plan for yet another “closure”. 

We say “closure” because most businesses weren’t really “closed,” however an awful lot of mom-and-pop shops – you know the ones who make our community great – were forced to adjust the way they did business yet again.

Look no further than the food and beverage industry to see the true effects of these “lockdowns,” and “closures,” while the benefits are nowhere to be found.

More and more long-time – and much loved – businesses in that industry are closing their doors due to the last two years of incomprehensible, insensible decisions to force restrictions on the small businesses of Ontario.

This while larger entities – especially big box stores – continued to operate with relative impunity regarding the “restrictions” and “rules” of COVID.

We personally know several small business owners who were visited during the past two years to check on their “COVID compliance” – it’s crazy how dirty a word compliance sounds – while any trip to a large chain would show the business might not have been counting heads.

While we applaud the decision to bring us back into a state of relative normalcy – whatever “normal” is to the individual – it’s still a little silly that any major restrictions were in place to begin with. 

For the record, the re-opening plan is set to begin on January 31, and hopefully be completed by March 14; at which point, life should be back to almost business as usual with only mask and vaccine requirements still on tap.

The truth we should all be putting in our heads right now and in the future is that this virus is surely going to become endemic (if it hasn’t already). This isn’t a shot in the dark based on nonsensical ideas, this is what many experts with scientific doctorates have been saying for a long time now.

It’s way past time we learned to live – actually live, not fearfully hide from the outside world – with this virus.

It’s time to give the power to make decisions to the public and say, “here is the information we have; this is a virus that spreads faster than the flu and is deadlier than most to some; you could be at risk; make good choices.”  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a vaccine, but the choice will be yours and you will be responsible for your choice.

This means no restrictions whatsoever, no forced (or strongly encouraged) vaccinations, no mask-wearing rules … you get the picture. Of course, if people choose to wear masks, get vaccinated, and be extra cautious, they should have the right to do so.

Will putting the decisions in the hands of the people mean that suddenly giant street parties with strangers sharing passionate kisses (and more) will occur in every city, town and village? Of course not.

More likely we’ll see the cautious and vulnerable stay home (which is their right), while the rest of society starts to get back to the way things were pre-pandemic (which should be our right).

That’s how a democracy is supposed to work: majority rules. The truth is the majority of us have had enough of this “pandemic” and it’s time to call COVID what it really is, an endemic virus – like the flu or the common cold.

It’s also time to really “open up,” not just say we’re going to.