Letter: Some helpful and smart messages in the age of COVID-19

We look forward to seeing you soon—from a two-metre distance

To the Expositor:

As the province slowly begins to reopen and summer quickly approaches, constructive, helpful and smart messages about living on the Island in the age of COVID-19 are critical—critical for our health, critical for our local economy and critical for our mental well-being. The following, I believe, is a constructive and helpful message our elected officials should seriously consider and adopt. The virus will not be eradicated until there is a vaccine. And unfortunately, a vaccine is not a certainty and the virus may be here for years to come.  

Welcome back all Manitoulin property owners in the age of COVID-19! 

We know you’ve been living in self-isolation for close to three months, not unlike us, to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and you are more than ready to enjoy your Island property. We welcome you back, and are counting on you to continue to limit the spread of the virus and to supporting the many businesses, communities and families across the Island. As you know, health care services on Manitoulin Island are limited and we have many vulnerable populations, not unlike many other parts of Ontario, so we are understandably concerned about the transmission of the virus. We therefore ask that you keep your guard up, continue to follow provincial health protocols, and to put the following common sense practices in place:

Before you come, purchase enough groceries and supplies to self-isolate on your property for 14 days. This will help ensure you don’t unknowingly transmit the virus to others if you are asymptomatic; 

After 14 days, plan your trips for supplies, food and services to limit your travel (and don’t forget to wear a non-surgical mask if you may be in situations where it is difficult to physical distance);

Enjoy your property and your neighbours’ by following health protocols (physical distancing of two meters or more, limit gatherings to five people or less for now, wash your hands frequently, and don’t touch your face); and

Limit your travel off-Island and back.

It unfortunately won’t be life as normal on the Island over the summer, but If we follow these protocols, everyone can safely enjoy the properties they’ve worked so hard to acquire, support local communities and businesses, and limit the spread of the virus. We look forward to seeing you soon—from a two metre distance!

Dave Watts

Robinson Township