Year End Corona Fatigue, Stay Safe and Busiess, Councillor Jan Harder, City of Ottawa
As the year comes to a close, I am sure we are all tired of turning on our tv screens and hearing about the global COVID-19 health pandemic. But while many of us are suffering from COVID fatigue, it’s important we continue to follow all the proper health guidelines as we weather a second wave of the virus.
Ottawa’s top doctor, Vera Etches, says COVID-19 is here to stay — at least for the next little while. We must learn to live with it so we can have as normal of a life as possible while staying safe. This does not mean we get complacent; it means we must continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, stay six feet away from others and limit socializations. While that can be hard as the weather turns colder and we move ourselves indoors, it’s an important step we must take to keep those we love most safe.
It is also more important now than ever that we continue to shop and support local businesses in our communities. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the threat of further lockdowns is becoming more apparent. By supporting locals now, we can ensure our local businesses — which are the heart of our communities — are in the best possible place financially and can overcome any challenges which might lie ahead. Local businesses are the first to help the community when it comes to local charities, so now it’s the time for the community to return the avour.
These businesses employ us and our youth and often are our neighbours themselves.
On the local front, COVID-19 cases are going down after seeing a recent rise. Ottawa is now in the “orange restrict” zone which means restaurants and bars are allowed to have indoor dining — but only four people can be seated at a table and no alcohol is allowed to be served after 9:00 pm. Take-out remains a great option. Gyms have reopened which for many is a great physical and mental relief. Restaurant and gym proprietors, have at their great expense, added rigorous cleaning and in some cases, physical barriers to keep their patrons and staff safe.
The City of Ottawa has also extended the mandatory mask mandate into next year as an effort to keep everyone safe. Those who don't comply can face a hefty fine as the warning and education period is over. OC Transport will also deny boarding to anyone who is not wearing a mask.
The Ontario government says we are continuing to bend the curve and our actions are helping to lower the daily COVID count for the province. With a long winter in store, let’s all continue to do our part so we can make sure next year is a better year than 2020.