Scott Thompson: For Ontarians in 2020, the May long weekend will be different — but not in spirit

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Coronavirus outbreak: What is the economic impact of extending Ontario’s emergency order?
WATCH (May 6, 2020): During a news conference about the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Minister of Finance Rod Phillips was asked what the economic impact of the extension of all emergency orders that have been put in place so far until May 19 would be – May 6, 2020

Many have been asking what the May long weekend will look like in the world of COVID-19.

From everything I have heard, both locally and provincially, it will be very similar to this coming Mother’s Day weekend, which will look a lot like this past Easter weekend.

In other words: plenty of social distancing, while what’s open will have new protocols in place restricting contact — to say the least.

With the exception of a few minor openings announced for Mother’s Day weekend — garden, hardware and retail stores with a separate entrance for curbside pickup — life will be pretty much the same as it is now for the first unofficial long weekend of summer 2020.

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Also, with Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in place until May 19 and federal and provincial parks closed until the end of the month, some traditional May long weekend festivities like camping are out of bounds, to say nothing of any sort of public gathering.

The reality is that until we see more of what we’re seeing — a consistent flattening of the curve — the chance of this May long weekend looking anything like those of the past is highly unlikely.

Another key indicator is that kids are out of school until at least the end of May.

We may see a further slight reduction in restrictions if we keep doing what we’re doing, but the fireworks, concerts and barbecue festivals that traditionally come with the first blowout of the season are out of the question.

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However, it doesn’t mean that with a little ingenuity, we can’t capture the spirit we have had for the last eight weeks and make it work as best we can, COVID-19 style.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​

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