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Apr. 8, 2020 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: It's time to put others first
EDITORIAL

New expressions have found their way into the everyday lexicon in the past week or so.

Social distancing.

Flattening the curve.

Self-isolating.

And COVID-19.

Yes, these are scary times for many people, especially the most vulnerable – and Niagara-on-the-Lake being a community of many older, sometimes sicker, individuals there is cause for concern here.

On Monday at 8:21 p.m., Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, issued what seems to have been a little-noticed statement, caught up perhaps in the maelstrom of information that is flooding our psyches.

The statement, headlined “Enhanced measures to protect Ontarians from COVID-19,” outlined his “request” that bars and restaurants close or move to takeout/delivery only. Of course, barely 12 hours later, Premier Doug Ford ordered those establishments to close immediately except for takeout. That illustrates how fast things are changing.

But also lurking in Williams’ statement was his recommendation that: “All persons over 70 years of age and individuals who are immunocompromised are advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. This means that you should only leave your home or see other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands.”

Perhaps by the time you read this, it will be mandatory for all people over 70 (and maybe even all of us) to self-isolate for two weeks.

However, even if it is not mandatory, with a large population of older folks here in NOTL, we think it is wise for them to heed Williams’ advice and stay indoors.

But worry not, NOTLers who are self-isolated. Your community is rallying to provide help if you need it.

Whether it’s the spontaneous actions of people offering to run errands or pharmacist Sean Simpson leading the way to offer special seniors-only hours or friends and neighbours simply taking time to look out for others, our community has quickly shown a remarkable ability to do the right things in a time of crisis.

Kudos to everyone who has stepped up to offer help, whether publicly or quietly away from the spotlight. Lord Mayor Betty Disero reminded us in an interview that now is the time to put others first. She said it better than we could:

“We are a community, we have to think of the community. You may feel fine but you may be a carrier. Do not think of yourself, think of the public and the community at large. If you’ve been away, you may feel great but you may be carrying something that you shouldn’t be, so just think about others.”

In NOTL, people are indeed thinking of others and showing what kind of a community we live in and the spirit that thrives here. Bravo to everyone.

It likely is going to be several weeks, maybe even months, before we defeat this life-threatening virus. Let’s keep up the good work, NOTL.

editor@niagaranow.com

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