IS HOME REALLY WHERE THE HEART IS?
Re “City of Toronto issues ominous social distancing warning” (Bryan Passifiume, March 27): The city’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa, warns that “stronger” measures may be implemented if residents don’t practice social distancing. Based on my observations, however, draconian actions aren’t required since all the people I’ve encountered here in Toronto are complying with social distancing guidelines. They fear being infected with the coronavirus. Residents are already staying home and only going out if necessary. According to a recent World Health Organization report, “In China, human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus is largely occurring in families.” Household transmission rates of the virus ranged from 78%-85% in various regions of China. Thus, why would the City of Toronto want to put in place harsher measures that would further confine people to their homes? The statistics from China suggest that such steps, if taken, might actually help spread the virus. People need to be able to go outside for a walk in the fresh air, provided they practice social distancing. Such activity is essential to their physical and mental health, especially in this time of crisis.
(The City of Toronto has just announced steep fines for those that are in violation. But here is the bottom line, common sense is what people need to be exercising. Based on what we saw over the weekend with so many people out and about, the message isn’t getting across)
SHAME ON ONTARIO TEACHERS
Ontario’s public school teachers are not showing that they care about children. Prior to the current global crisis, teachers subjected children to rotating strikes. In a very cynical move, they ostensibly went back to work just before March break. This enabled them to be paid during the break. Our schools are closed. It is precisely because of the social isolation and the fact that the teachers are still being paid that we should fully expect our teachers to do the work for which they are trained and for which they were hired. We need them to teach now perhaps more than ever. Our children are isolated with nothing to do. Teachers have a challenge. They have been against online learning, so how can they now be seen to be doing it? Teachers took issue with online learning because not all homes have access to computers. This cannot be a stumbling block not to proceed. For those who do not have an appropriate device, let’s mobilize the people of this province. Our collective social isolation is going to last for some time. We cannot have our children sit idle. I am calling on Premier Doug Ford to invoke force majeure. I am calling for a groundswell of support for this action. Remember Ronald Reagan did. He fired all air traffic controllers when there was an impasse and rehired those that accepted specific conditions. If teachers do not agree to provide online education, fire them. Hopefully, it will not come to that. We must act very quickly and very decisively to save, as best we can, this school year.
(How they don’t recognize this as an extraordinary opportunity is beyond comprehension. But keep in mind there are many that want to be teaching their students)