Editorial: Returning ‘from away?’ Get in the house and stay put!

The municipal sign welcoming those coming on to Manitoulin has a stark warning for those who have been away—‘self-isolate’ is the only message this normally busy digital screen has these days.

Over the next couple of weeks, thousands of snowbirds are returning from their annual migration back to their homes, camps and cottages across Manitoulin Island, joining over a million citizens who have made the pilgrimage following the prime minister’s call to return home.

Few had any reason to think that this season would be so very different from past years, although some were exhibiting a somewhat less-than-sound judgement when they set out in the midst of dire global warnings of the dangers of a pandemic.

There has been plenty of blaming and shaming going on, particularly online in “social?” media. On the international stage we have stood witness to the provocative “China-virus” terminology used, albeit lamely, by the so-called diplomacy-challenged and now increasingly tarnished so-called leader of the free world balanced by the equally intemperate claims by at least one Chinese official attempting to foist the origins of COVID-19 on an American soldier.

A patient struggling for breath while lying on a gurney in an overwhelmed hospital hallway, stranded in a medical facility bereft of enough ventilators to provide them with the breath of life, might be forgiven for suggesting a pox upon on both their houses—it doesn’t matter who is to blame. It is here, it is growing and it is deadly.

We are hearing increasing reports of people who have returned from overseas and south of the border not taking this matter seriously. For those people the message today is simple. Don’t regale us with how you are feeling fine, don’t assume you are immune, you are not. Neither are the three percent who will die thanks such self-centred and delusional denial such as yours.

We are gathering resources and engaging volunteers to ensure that you can weather out a two-week quarantine safe and sound in your own home. You do not need to go out—we have your back, please have ours.

If you are coming home from outside the country or have been exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus: STAY HOME! It is not only the law, it is the right thing to do.