protest in toronto

Reckless yahoos protest at Queen's Park in Toronto to end the shutdown

There's a protest in Toronto today. Civil liberties are at stake, the curve is flattening, haircuts are growing out beyond recognition: it's all too much, for some. 

Chants of "Open up Ontario" are resounding at Queen's Park right now as a handful of citizens choose to spend their Saturday afternoon protesting Ontario's social distancing measures during a global pandemic. 

The sizeable crowd of "yahoos", as Premier Doug Ford referred to them today, are currently fussing over the fact that trying to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has taken the lives of 811 people in Ontario and more than 2,350 nationwide to date has become unbearable.

"We see these people that are absolutely irresponsible, it's reckless to do what they're doing," said Ford in a press conference this afternoon. "And personally, I think it's selfish." 

Energetic waving of signs that say things like "I want a haircut" would almost be funny, if it didn't blatantly flout the urgings of health officials and frontline healthcare workers, who have been saving lives amidst PPE shortages and outbreaks in the city's most vulnerable communities

Interestingly, someone's also holding a sign that says "Covexit", which is a pretty weird conflation of COVID-19 and the U.K.'s split from the European Union. Maybe they can take a leaf out of that book and 'exit' the province for a few months while the rest of us try to isolate? 

Even more ironic than the waving of a "Free The Strong" sign alongside a "Protect The Vulnerable" sign is the fact some of the protestors are wearing face masks.

That's good news for the rest of us, because one can only imagine how many respiratory droplets are being dispersed while people shout for their right to haircuts.

There even appears to be some mindful 2-metre-distancing going on, which shows a basic understanding of community spread, despite advocating for "reopening" of industries which have closed specifically for that reason. 

Toronto's Medical Officer of Health announced last week the cumulative rate of COVID-19 in Toronto is lower than originally projected, thanks to people staying at home for the last month

Lead photo by

Klara Quinton


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