To The Editor,

Sorry to have to bother you with this. You see, I feel another rant coming on and my wife, while she agrees wholeheartedly, is tired of listening to me. “Take it somewhere else” about sums it up. So, I’ve turned to The Review.

Don’t know about you but I am fast reaching my breaking point in terms of patience, tolerance and understanding. We are approaching a full year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe. We, at least most of us, have followed the governments’ many directions and requests, taken the professional advice of the various Chief Officers of Health, supported our front-line workers and generally changed our lives from doing what we want to do to doing what we know we should do. Are we happy about having our world disrupted and turned on its head? About never seeing our friends and extended family, about never traveling or even going out somewhere? No, we most definitely are not, but it’s the right thing to do, we know this, so we do it.

But it’s not working. Many people have lost their jobs, savings have been gutted, small businesses are desperately struggling or have gone under, social disruption, both personal and community wide,  are at an all-time high, tens of thousand are sick and thousands more are dead. And the families can’t attend the funerals. Governments at all levels, on the very best of medical advice, have repeatedly issued directives, requests, demands and entreaties, in many cases literally pleading with us to adopt some new measures, to further restrict our activities, to understand why slow downs, lock downs, and states of emergency have to be, yet again, extended. But its not working. The pandemic continues to spread. Why?

Several observers have pointed out that had we all followed the restrictions right from the beginning of the emergency, we would not be where we are today. Had we all worn our masks, had we all washed our hands with soap and sanitizer, stayed at home except for food or medical needs, steeply restricted our social contacts of any sort whatsoever, we would, in all likelihood, be out of the woods by now. Things would, mostly, be back to normal. But we all did not. Variously estimated at from five to 20 percent of Canadians decided the new rules didn’t apply to them. It was not a national or global emergency. It was an annoying inconvenience and they continued to socialize as they pleased, to travel when and where they wanted, even to party as they felt like it. So, the pandemic continues. Deaths and personal tragedies continue. More restrictions are imposed on us. The vast majority of law abiding, compassionate and responsible Canadians continue to foot the bill so these selfish groups and individuals can keep their happy lifestyle. Speaking only for myself (and perhaps my wife), I have, finally, had enough.

Time to take the gloves off and nail ’em. Full lockdown and curfew. Check-points on the border and you’d better be a commercial vehicle or have a serious medical issue or you’ll be turned back AND fined just for trying. Any out-of-province vehicles stopped and questioned. (My friends across the river say they totally agree. No shortage of Ontario plates in Grenville, I’m told.) Any part of a store which is not selling food or medicine, closed off. Huge increase in fines for illegal gathering with guaranteed jail time for the property owner. If we don’t have the police manpower, hire private security or bring in the Army.

After weeks and months of pleading, asking, begging these people to do the right thing, and being ignored by them, it’s time we, the ones who are still on lockdown, still restricted in our personal, working and social lives and who are still footing the bill, stopped being nice. No more requests that they act responsibly, which they won’t follow anyway. This pandemic has got to be stopped and soon and if that means these people’s carefree and happy lifestyle has to be made to resemble the one the rest of us are experiencing, that’s just fine with me.

Thank you for listening, Editor. I feel better already.

Fed up in L’Orignal,

Colin Affleck