lockdown toronto

People in Toronto are wondering if lockdowns even work as more restrictions loom

Whether or not Toronto is going into another lockdown is on everyone's mind today as residents get wind of the news that Ontario Premier Doug Ford is making some sort of major announcement about pandemic restrictions on Thursday.

Such announcements have been known to come late in the afternoon on the last day before a long weekend, and based on the fact that health officials have been calling for tighter measures in parts of the province as COVID-19 case counts rise, it seems that what we're all fearing as far as more lockdown measures is indeed quite likely.

And though the move may be advised by experts and warranted by data, many citizens are not having it. Many are starting to wonder if lockdowns even work, given how we still haven't been able to get a handle on the virus like other parts of the world have.

Some are baffled by the fact that we still are, by all accounts, in lockdown — one of the longest in the world — having gone into the Grey-Lockdown zone of the province's reopening framework in November before the more extreme provincial shutdown a month later.

We've only gotten as far as progressing into grey once again since we emerged from the shutdown on March 8, though new permissions pertaining to "non-essential" retail stores and patios have been added in recent weeks.

Salons, barber shops and other establishments offering personal care services were also slated to reopen in grey zone regions next week — something that may now simply remain an unfulfilled promise.

Some are pointing out that the constant back and forth has made people weary and less than eager to comply with perpetually changing restrictions and confusing protols and systems that don't always seem adequately justified or consistent.

The pandemic fatigue is real, and giving the public little tastes of normal life followed by perpetual lockdowns only makes it worse.

Many are worried for the plight of businesses that have had some operations shut for hundreds of days straight after a year of mostly being shuttered.

Workouts in gyms and dining in bars and restaurants, for example, haven't been possible in Toronto or Peel since Oct. 10, while tens of thousands of businesses nationwide have had to shut down permanently due to such mandated closures while big box stores have thrived.

The hashtag #No3rdlockdown quickly began trending as people aired their frustrations online over the course of Thursday.

Many have aptly pointed out that vaccines — which Canada has completely mismanaged the rollout of — are the true solution, and not haphazard public safety measures that have spelled catastrophe for people's livelihood and mental health.

Suicidal ideation and actual suicideseating disordersoverdoses, cases of domestic violence and other mental health and social issues are on the rise while our lockdowns have been longer and more frequent than other jurisdictions worldwide, yet also less severe, especially as far as the number of non-residents we continue to let into the country.

As of right now, we will all just have to hold our collective breath and wait for the latest update from the premier and his team tomorrow — which may or not include the implementation of the emergency brake — as the rest of the world safely reopens.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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