ontario lockdown

People are arguing about whether Ontario is actually in a lockdown right now

With Ontario now back under some of the most stringent lockdown restrictions we've had in months, residents have not been at all shy to bemoan the latest spate of measures, which we were promised we would never have to face the likes of again.

But, amid all of the grumbling about business closures, capacity restrictions and the like — as well as the notable lack of some of the financial supports we had earlier in the pandemic — there are those arguing the concept of "lockdown," and that Ontario is currently in one.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 5, bars, restaurants and cafes have had to halt indoor dining and move to takeout, delivery and patio service (in January) only; capacity limits have been cut in retail and personal care settings; gathering limits have likewise been decreased; schools have moved to virtual learning only; and gyms, movie theatres, concert halls, museums, event spaces and more have all been forcibly shuttered.

But, as some are pointing out, the availability of some goods and services in-person and the fact that people can still leave their houses without fear of getting fined means that we are not in a full lockdown, just under a new set of lockdown measures.

Of course, the disagreement between camps continues online.

There are of course those in Quebec who seem to believe Ontarians have it so easy seeing as they are facing a heavy-handed curfew of 10 p.m., after which, for a few days there, one couldn't even go outside to walk their pet (thankfully, their government has now backtracked on that point).

There are also those who think that given rampant Omicron spread and COVID-19 deaths, hospitalization numbers and daily case counts — the last of which were upwards of 11,000 again on Tuesday —  are presently bad enough to necessitate stricter measures.

Technically, the province has regressed into a modified version of Step 2 of the 3-step Roadmap to Reopen for a period of at least 21 days.

And though the government has called the measures time-limited and temporary, residents know from past experience that if the key health indicators are still not where officials want by Jan. 26, the orders will likely be extended, if not tightened further.

Generally, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, virtually no one seems pleased with the measures enacted by Premier Doug Ford and his team, with many vocally complaining that they are far too much at this point and are doing the public more harm than good, which has been proven for at least certain demographics on an individual level.

Many are also rightfully upset with the government's failure to hold up their end of the social contract that stated if we all got vaccinated, if businesses implemented vaccine passports and jumped through the requisite hoops, and citizens otherwise followed the guidance of officials, the return of such restrictive health and safety measures and economic closures would not need to take place again.

According to the province's announcement on the topic, it is currently "exploring options for providing further targeted and necessary supports for businesses and workers impacted by the province's move into a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, including grants. " 

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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