Go home, stay home
To the Editor,
On March 7 there were 28 covid-19 cases in Ontario; 1,966 on April 1; 4,347 on April 7; 7,049 on April 13. In Canada, there were 51 cases on March 7; 8,548 on April 1; 16,667 on April 7; 24,383 on April 13. This morning there were 644,806 cases in the United States and 214,648 in New York, a stone’s throw from here. Despite these terrifying numbers and intensive media coverage, cottagers and other visitors were here in large numbers on the holiday weekend. The home next to me, not a principal residence, had several vehicles in the driveway. Someone from Haliburton probably drove to another community, too. What is it that people don’t understand about the message, “go home, stay home”? Too complicated?
On March 27, Ontario Premier Doug Ford asked residents in urban areas to avoid cottages and rural properties due to limited hospital capacity and the difficulty of replenishing essential items. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer gave the same advice on various media including Twitter on March 30. Ontario’s “stay home” message has been repeated continually in the media, yet here we are. The possibility of sickness and death brought to you by your friendly traveller down the road. Of course, the rules don’t apply to them, only to someone else.
Asymptomatic people are one of the difficulties in this pandemic. They are people who never experience any symptoms of the infection yet carry the possibility of infecting others without ever knowing it. It is generally agreed that perhaps 25 per cent of infected people may be asymptomatic. One way or the other, social distancing has little meaning if the selfish and unthinking continue to move about.
The math is pretty simple. Every infected person can be reasonably expected to infect two to three others. Worldwide statistics seem to indicate an average doubling of cases every six days, although in some parts of Canada this has now changed to eight to 10 days. Nevertheless, a few infected people becomes thousands in a few weeks, reflected in the statistics we see every day. Think about the consequences of your actions. Think about someone other than yourself. Go home and stay home.
F. R. Shuttleworth