There's a protest in Toronto today. Civil liberties are at stake, the curve is flattening, haircuts are growing out beyond recognition: it's all too much, for some.
Chants of "Open up Ontario" are resounding at Queen's Park right now as a handful of citizens choose to spend their Saturday afternoon protesting Ontario's social distancing measures during a global pandemic.
Protesters chanting “my body my choice”— Klara Quinton (@KlaraQuinton) April 25, 2020
No social distancing except by reporters and journalist.
(I am not protesting I am covering independently) #queenspark #protest #COVID19 #toronto pic.twitter.com/R33mdO8g6J
The sizeable crowd of "yahoos", as Premier Doug Ford referred to them today, are currently fussing over the fact that trying to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has taken the lives of 811 people in Ontario and more than 2,350 nationwide to date is just, like, so unfair.
Doug Ford condemns lockdown protests happening now at Queens Park in Toronto calling them “wreckless”— LΞIGH (@LeighStewy) April 25, 2020
"We see these people that are absolutely irresponsible, it's reckless to do what they're doing," said Ford in a press conference this afternoon. "And personally, I think it's selfish."
Energetic waving of signs that say things like "I want a haircut" would almost be funny, if it didn't blatantly flout the urgings of health officials and frontline healthcare workers, who have been saving lives amidst PPE shortages and outbreaks in the city's most vulnerable communities.
Protesters not social distancing. Letting kids play together.— Klara Quinton (@KlaraQuinton) April 25, 2020
Images from the current #endtheshutdown #protest in #toronto (I am not protesting, I am here covering this independently - I am wearing mask/gloves and distanced) #queenspark @blogTO @nationalpost @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/8CLBPteY0p
Interestingly, someone's also holding a sign that says "Covexit": an odd conflation of COVID-19 and the U.K.'s split from the European Union. Maybe they can take a leaf out of that book and 'exit' the province while the rest of us try to isolate?
Even more ironic than the waving of a "Free The Strong" sign alongside a "Protect The Vulnerable" sign is the fact some of the protestors are wearing face masks.
It's great, because one can only imagine how many respiratory droplets are being dispersed while people shout for their right to haircuts.
Protesters chanting “Everyone’s essential, freedoms are essential, return our freedoms, return our rights” and moving towards traffic from Queens Park— Klara Quinton (@KlaraQuinton) April 25, 2020
(I am not protesting I am covering independently) #queenspark #protest #COVID19 #toronto pic.twitter.com/kutSzgc6AV
There's even appears to be some mindful 2-metre-distancing happening there, which shows a basic understanding of community spread, despite advocating for "reopening" of industries which have closed specifically for that reason.
Images from the current #endtheshutdown #protest in #toronto (I am not protesting, I am here covering this independently - I am wearing mask/gloves and distanced) #queenspark @blogTO @nationalpost @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/LsF8e371Cj— Klara Quinton (@KlaraQuinton) April 25, 2020
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health announced last week the cumulative rate of COVID-19 in Toronto is lower than originally projected, thanks to people staying at home.
by Tanya Mok via blogTO