ontario lockdown

Someone created the funniest parody of Ontario's coloured reopening zones

Ontario's lockdown strategy and reopening plan has been downright confusing, with full shutdowns replaced by numbered stages replaced by colour-coded zones, the rules for which keep getting amended as regions flip-flop between looser and tighter restrictions.

As devastating as the last year has been, there are those who have brought a bit of levity to a very dark time through humour, which is quite easy to do when it comes to the province's policies (and leadership that few residents have been impressed with.)

One of the latest is an absolutely priceless parody version of the government's colour-coded reopening framework, which has seen numerous updates since it was first implemented in early November.

Toronto resident and Twitter user @matttomic poked fun at Ontario's not-so-effective lockdown restrictions by renaming the zones, as well as adding in a few extra ones.

"With news that we're moving from Lockdown into Shutdown, I've gotten a leaked copy of the Ontario government's new 10-level COVID framework," they joked in a tweet from Wednesday, when the new stay-at-home order and other additional measures were announced on top of Saturday's emergency shutdown.

The artist's framework starts off with the names, colours and symbols we're used to: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control and Grey-Lockdown.

But, one will notice the descriptions are definitely not ones provided by Premier Doug Ford and his team, though some may argue they are definitely more fitting.

Green, for example, is detailed as "whatever Texas is doing," while in yellow, apparently "everything is still open but we're furrrowing our eyebrows really hard at everything."

In orange, hilariously, it seems that only "guinea pig groomers and VCR repair stores" see reduced capacity limits, and not substantially, either, to an arbitrary 87 per cent.

In red, residents face "the absolute most stringent measures we could think of when we first introduced this system — gyms, salons and indoor dining still open." (Though indoor dining and gyms were not, in fact, open during the first version of red, they were for the most recent iteration of it.)

And grey? Well, that's "diet lockdown."

Then we have four new levels that will definitely resonate with anyone who's had to live in Ontario over the last five months: A White-Shutdown zone that is "zero-calorie diet lockdown with lime," before a Purple-Clampdown zone in which Ford asks residents to "c'mon, knock it off guys."

Next is Blue-Takedown, which really means "no more fartin' around," followed by Turquoise-Smackdown: "holy shit we're running out of colours."

Crossed out at the end and not included in any zone of the framework is one of the most sensible measures, which many rightfully argue Ford should have been implementing this entire time: Sick leave paid for by the provincial government so essential workers can stay home when infected.

This is especially pertinent considering, as the mock infographic points out, that factories and warehouses are the highest-outbreak settings in the province, with a staggering number more infections than businesses like bars and restaurants.

(The premier has pointed to the  Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit [CRSB], which offers $500 per week for up to four weeks for anyone isolating due to COVID-19 infection.)

Other suggested tactics that could really help right now: actually getting vaccinations out to as many people as quickly as possible like our neigbours are, bringing in more rapid testing, and more rigorous border measures.

If only.

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