Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday April 7, 2021
So tired of the Pandemic
Folks, just because you’re legally allowed to go into malls doesn’t mean that you should go into malls — especially not for the purpose of “doing a little wander around” and leaving without shopping bags.
I mean, if you’re going to literally risk your life by entering the jam-packed Yorkdale Shopping Centre or Eaton Centre amid a pandemic, you should at the very least stimulate the economy while you’re at it.
This is just common sense, or so it appears to be in the eyes of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who on Tuesday went off on the many people who flocked to malls in and around Toronto this past weekend, as they were fully permitted to do under existing lockdown rules.
As many on Twitter are now pointing out in the wake of Ford’s comments, consumers weren’t necessarily being irresponsible on purpose by going to malls this weekend: Current shutdown rules still permit shopping centres to operate at 25 per cent capacity. (blogTO)
Meanwhile, more than 30,000 people attended the Texas Rangers home opener Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays, in the first major, full-capacity sporting event in the U.S. in more than a year.
The Rangers announced a sellout crowd of 38,283 tickets sold for their 2021 home debut at Globe Life Field in Arlington, where Toronto scored a 6-2 victory.
Masks are mandated inside the new ballpark, though pictures from Monday’s game showed many spectators not wearing them.
One noted fan not in attendance Monday was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who declined to throw the ceremonial first pitch because Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s move to restrict voter access.
The $1.2 billion Arlington stadium, which has a retractable roof and a listed capacity of 40,518, was the site of 30 Rangers homes games in 2020, a truncated campaign that did not allow fans inside. (NBC)
Meanwhile, a Leamington restaurant is defying the provincial COVID-19 shutdown orders and remaining open for in-person dining.
Kristy Leathem, the owner of Family Kitchen at 73 Erie Street South, says her doors have been open for dine-in restaurant during regular business hours since February.
“If Walmart down the street can remain open at 50 per cent capacity why can’t I?” said Leathem.
Her establishment has a capacity for 100 people, but Tuesday morning she said she had about 50 customers.
She says she is not planning on exceeding capacity rules at 50 per cent, but wants a more even playing field when it comes to rules for the shutdown.
Ontario issued a province-wide emergency brake shutdown on Thursday. Under the new rules, restaurants are prohibited from in-person dining and are allowed to be open for takeout and delivery only. (CTV)
Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 3,065 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 367,602.
Tuesday’s case count is higher than Monday’s which saw 2,938 new infections. On Sunday, 3,041 new cases were recorded and 3,009 on Saturday.
According to Tuesday’s provincial report, 955 cases were recorded in Toronto, 561 in Peel Region, 320 in York Region, 165 in Ottawa, 132 in Niagara Region, 128 in Hamilton, 119 in Halton Region and 101 in Durham Region.
All other local public health units reported fewer than 100 new cases in the provincial report.
The death toll in the province has risen to 7,458 as eight more deaths were recorded. (Global)