After weeks of soaring COVID-19 cases, the province was left with little choice when last Thursday it announced new restrictions for several jurisdictions in Alberta, including Lethbridge.
While perhaps some measure of blame can be directed at the provincial government for not acting quickly enough, all one can really say in looking at the numbers is this is a self- inflicted wound for our city and our region as people have failed to take reasonable measures to limit the spread of the disease, which, according to the province, has mainly been spread through social gatherings of various sorts.
This failure has led to the cancellation in some areas of all team sport activities for the next two weeks, the closure of fitness classes, a limit on hours at bars and restaurants, and new restrictions on social and public gatherings. In Alberta we pride ourselves on our libertarian streak. We don’t like big government acting too strongly in our lives. We feel we should have the right to make our own decisions and choices without Big Brother watching over our shoulders. We will take responsibility for our own actions, thank you very much.
Up until now the Kenney government has attempted to accept those statements at face value, and trusted Albertans to do the right thing in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by taking personal responsibility for their actions, and has thus taken far fewer restrictive actions to date than other provinces like Ontario and Quebec. That all began to change on Thursday, and here’s the thing: those public health restrictions are only going to get worse and more onerous if cases continue to climb after this two-week period elapses.
We could be staring in the face of another province-wide lockdown echoing what happened back in March and April. So it is time to put that libertarian streak to good use – in not just opposing public health orders simply to be contrary, but by choosing to make good choices for the health and safety of ourselves and our community.
For the sake of us all, and the businesses we have in the community, people need to start getting the message. Stop the spread by taking personal responsibility to do so, and show the Kenney government why it was wrong to impose such health restrictions in the first place. For sure as the sun will rise if we fail to show how we’ve got this, there will be further restrictions and even greater consequences for the economic well-being of our region going forward.
Editorial originated from the Lethbridge Herald