Despite Premier Doug Ford‘s tap dance around the issue at his daily press conference Thursday, there seems to be a sense of inevitability that Ontario is headed for some version of another lockdown to stop the rapid spread of new cases of COVID-19.
The premier says he doesn’t want to make a snap decision.
That shouldn’t be a problem. There hasn’t been much snap to any of the decisions his government has made to deal with the pandemic lately.
But, if we take the premier at his word that he listens to the experts, will he listen to the plea from the Ontario Hospital Association, which tells us that hospitals are essentially at capacity in many areas and unsure whether they can handle the increasing surge of new COVID-19 cases?
Is he listening to the mayors from the Greater Toronto/Hamilton area and beyond who are urging the premier to move all regions into the “red zone,” with a robustly enforced shutdown?
One official told me that using the tools the province has to fight the pandemic is like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.
Officials want stronger action.
But, will a two- or three-week shutdown of businesses and schools be effective with the growing amount of pandemic fatigue that has set in?
I’m sure that the premier knows there could be political consequences for him if he orders the shutdown. But the consequences of doing nothing would be far worse.
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