COVID-19: Londoners reply to Ontario’s mandate to remain residence – London


Londoners expressed frustration, confusion and concern on Wednesday as the Ontario government issued another stay at home order, declaring its third state of emergency.

Starting Thursday 00:01 a.m., the order is slated to take four weeks to curb a surge in the province in new cases of COVID-19.

“With a few exceptions, the stay-at-home order will be similar to earlier this year,” said Premier Doug Ford during a press conference announcing the new order on Wednesday.

“Unless there is a substantial reason, please stay home.”

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Ontario issues a stay at home order declaring 3rd state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Before the order was issued, but after reports the province had planned to do so, Global News caught up with Londoners to hear their thoughts on the impending restrictions.

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“I firmly believe that this should have happened much sooner and much longer,” said Laura Rozon.

The 70-year-old says, despite the restrictions caused by switching off the emergency brake last week: “We are obviously not behaving.”

Andrew Weiss says he is confused about why the stay at home order wasn’t implemented sooner, describing last week’s shutdown as a “half-measure”.

“I look at countries like New Zealand and Australia, places where much more thorough action has been taken and which are now getting back on their feet much faster,” said Weiss.

“I can’t help but look around and feel that our leaders are failing us.”

Andrew Weiss said he was concerned about the impact on local businesses and wondered why certain services cannot be opened with strict restrictions.

Andrew Graham / Global News

As part of the stay at home ordering, big box stores are allowed to offer in-person purchases for those purchasing essential items. However, retailers deemed not essential can only be picked up at the roadside.

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Weiss says this worries him about small businesses and makes him wonder why establishments like tattoo parlors and barber shops can’t be reopened.

“I see them as safer than going to a place like Costco where people aren’t wearing their masks properly or things aren’t getting cleaned,” Weiss said.

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“When I go to my hairdresser, there are three people in the building and we’re all ten feet apart. Everything is cleaned for half an hour before I come in.”

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Chris Betancour has witnessed the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses through family members who work in retail.

“My family had to give them money to stay afloat and still have their business. It was really hard, ”said Betancour.

The stay at home order allows schools to stay open unless local health officials tell otherwise. On Tuesday, Middlesex-London Health Unit’s medical health officer, Dr. Chris Mackie: “We are not seeing any signs of expansion in schools here, there is no indication that we should close schools.”

Betancour, a 12th grade student at Catholic Central High School, says he had problems with online learning and didn’t want his current in-person study hours to be cut short.

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“You feel more motivated personally, but when you are at home it is difficult to be motivated to study,” Betancour said, adding that he wishes schools could have some semblance of normal before graduation.

“It’s our last year, we can’t have our graduation as most people have in the past.”

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Hoping that Ontarians will comply with the tightened restrictions once the stay at home order is issued, Norma Martin adds that she is concerned that people are ignoring the rules based on the assumption that they will not catch the virus will.

“I already got my shot because I’m 87, so I’ll have to get a second one in June to make me feel a little more confident, but I still like to wear my mask and everything,” said Martin.

“There will be a certain number of people who think it’s a joke,” added Martin’s son, Dave Pete.

“As long as there is a large majority, it will work … well, hopefully it will work.”

Norma Martin and her son Dave Pete have no problem with the increased restrictions, but they are concerned that people will ignore the rules.

Andrew Graham / Global News

Pete shared many of the concerns raised by fellow Londoners who spoke to Global News, with concerns about the impact on small businesses and questions about why the stay at home order wasn’t placed earlier.

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He also shares a desire that is likely felt around the world: to see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s just frustrating, you think it’s over then it’s not,” said Pete.

“My son lives in BC and I wanted to visit him and one day it’s yes and one day it’s no … nothing we can really do about it.”

Click to play the video: 'Married Teachers in Ontario Affected by COVID-19'

2:04Married Teachers in Ontario Affected by COVID-19

Married Teachers in Ontario Affected by COVID-19

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