Canadian News Jun 8, 2020 3:52 PM EST

Protests permitted in Ontario despite pandemic protocols—everyone else told stay indoors

Local public health officials reported no new COVID-19 cases in London, Ontario. This while 10,000 people gathered in Victoria Park for protests over the weekend.

Protests permitted in Ontario despite pandemic protocols—everyone else told stay indoors
Collin Jones The Post Millennial
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Local public health officials reported no new COVID-19 cases in London, Ontario on Saturday and Sunday. This while 10,000 people gathered in Victoria Park for Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

The incubation time for the virus has been commonly believed to be about two weeks.

Gatherings have been mostly forbidden in Canada, the US, and many other parts of the world since the outbreak, with health officials directing people that large groups of people would be sure to spread the virus.

However, protests in large numbers have been allowed in countless nations and cities, and there have been no social distancing protocols enforced during these multi-thousand individual protests.

Public health expert Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health for the Middlesex-London Health Unit, is now saying that there is no reason to read too much into the number of people gathering versus the number of coronavirus cases.

Over the last seven days, London and the surrounding Middlesex County has stabilized at around three to five new coronavirus cases each day.

"That's a very encouraging trend for us," Summers said. "When we look around the rest of the province there's still certainly a flattening of the curve but not a flat curve by any means."

"So here in London we have to make sure we don't think we're out of the woods yet, even though obviously any day where we've got zero feels like a good day."

Health officials have still leaned into the idea that people should not be gathering with groups of more than five.

But Summers tried to rationalize the protest, by saying that "people were masked. They were in an open-air environment. People tried to be socially distant."

How a group of 10,000 people could possibly adhere to social distancing protocols was not explicitly explained. Rather, Summers went on to say that he is more worried about people who think they will be able to visit families and friends in large groups.

“Before you know it, we’ve got lots of 20-person gatherings where people are spending extended periods of time in quite close contact. The accumulation of all those gatherings would be my greater concern,” he said, seemingly unbothered by the large numbers of protestors.

And Dr. Saverio Stranges, chair of epidemiology and biostatistics at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine and Denistry, said that "it's very difficult to predict because it seems that the outdoor gatherings are having very little impact... We have learned over the last three months that outdoor gatherings are unlikely to be super-spreaders."

But these remarks are not supported by other protocols that have been instituted elsewhere around the world.

If social gatherings outside are not something to be concerned about, then it raises questions on why Canadians in Toronto, for example, were fined and barred from visiting Trinity Bellwoods Park without remaining in large painted circles that were separated by several feet.

A man in Alberta was fined $1,200 for handing out fliers while maintaining social distancing protocols.

And in the United States, where a man was slammed to the ground by NYPD for not socially distancing, it seems that social distancing protocols do matter, even if individuals are outdoors.

Mindy Robinson, who is running for congress in Nevada, took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the matter: "So let me get this straight, when patriots like me marched for our rights the Left wished coronavirus on us and accused us of trying to kill grandma. But now that the protests are for BLM coronavirus is all of a sudden no longer a threat?"

It appears that health officials and certain political outlets have been out and open about their favoritism toward the protesters, by saying that everyone is to stay indoors unless it is to protest.

The anti-lockdown protests that took place in Michigan at the beginning of May garnered national attention for the way the protesters seemed not to care about social distancing or the possible spread of the virus, but now that thousands of protesters have taken to the streets for a different cause, that is apparently no cause for concern.

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