Throughout the last couple of months, I have seen an influx of tourists crowding the streets of Port Perry. As someone who comes from the outer edges of Scugog, I think, the fact people from more populated areas, like Toronto and Scarborough, come to smaller areas like Port Perry and even Oshawa, simply just to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I feel is unacceptable. If you have been watching the news, you will have noticed the increase in Covid-19 cases in Toronto. In Scugog, there aren’t as many cases, per capita. I think this is because many people in Scugog are following the precautions set by the government of Ontario. Yet there are many people within Scugog and Toronto who are not following restriction updates when it comes to Covid-19, my major concern is the number of people still partaking in non-essential travel. With Autumn upon us, people from larger areas desire to drive out to quieter areas like Port Perry and see the Fall colours. I understand this is a tradition for some people, but it is not a good idea to be going to smaller towns. Since there are so many cases in Toronto, I always find myself wondering how many cases of the virus are currently undiagnosed, and then, with some of those people not following social distancing measures, anyone in the area can be affected. I have noticed a lot of people walking around Palmer Park along the lakefront in Port Perry, and very few of those people are adhering to social distancing measures. Some may be in their own small family or safety group, and this could mean they are still adhering to the recommended guidelines. As people who live in more populated areas, like Toronto and Scarborough, could be adhering to the health protocols while visiting our areas, they may safe also, still there is no way to tell from the outside.
Whether visitors are thinking of everyone’s health or are resisting these measures and are using the ambiguity of being from elsewhere to disguise their irresponsibility I can’t confirm. But with larger populations comes the proportional possibilities of greater virus transmission and I worry those visiting may have forgotten we are still in a pandemic. I realize the Ontario and the Canadian government cannot ‘shut down the country’ forever, but I fear the virus will only get worse from here, especially with people seeming to relax their vigilance. Many of us knew the second wave of Covid-19 was coming, and now we are living it. I think we should, partially, go back to how we were in stage one of the pandemic. I do not want the world to ‘shut down’ again, but I also do not think it is safe to have school reopened to students and restaurants open to the public. Having stricter restrictions because of the pandemic may appeal to people rebelling more, I understand this reasoning. I also understand, you cannot force everyone in Scugog and the Greater Toronto Area to listen to the restrictions that are already set. The best way to avoid Covid-19 cases from rising within Scugog and even Toronto is for people to choose to stay home and stay informed. If people should only leave their homes to go to the grocery store and maybe see a friend down the street, whom they know is Covid clear, things could reduce anxiety in the population. I do not think people driving two or more hours to ‘see the Fall colours’ is essential travel, so people shouldn’t really be counting it as such. People who live in more populated areas should stay at home for their own safety and that of others. If you must venture outside your home; wear a mask, wash your hands, and respect social distancing measures.