Editorials - Nov. 12, 2020
A sad day
No matter which side of the political coin you land on, it is a sad time for democracy. The 2020 election has brought the United States of America down several notches in the eyes of the rest of the world. The country that prided itself as “the leader of the free world” and helped other nations run fair elections, is now struggling under a president who is calling the validity of its own democratic process into question.
Despite having no evidence of wrongdoing, Donald Trump is accusing many states of widespread conspiracy, declaring legal mail-in ballots fraudulent. He refuses to concede that he lost the election and instead will spend the next few days filing lawsuits to dispute the results.
The Democrats were victims of their own campaign of encouraging their supporters to mail in their votes to protect themselves against the coronavirus that continues to ravage their country. The Republicans railed against mail-in votes, which was ample foreshadowing for the situation now unfolding. Those slow-to-count mail-in ballots largely counted towards Joe Biden and seemingly snatched the lead from Trump.
It’s hard to believe that an American would call his own election system into question when he had previously held it out as an example for the rest of the world to follow. – DS
Doing the right thing
Many Canadians have looked at the United States shaking their heads as COVID-19 has raged out of control, with daily cases topping 125,000 lately, on the path to what experts say will be easily 2,000 deaths per day. Not only have people been insistent on living their pre-COVID-19 lives, but there have been sects that have actively and aggressively pushed back against control measures like physical distancing and mask wearing both individually and in large rallies. Well, we no longer need to look south of our border for this behaviour, as anti-mask protests have made their way to Canada, not just in city centres like Toronto and Montreal, but in southwestern Ontario communities like Windsor and Aylmer.
Over the weekend, an estimated 2,000 people, many of whom were tied to the town’s large religious communities, marched through the streets of Aylmer with signs declaring “facts over fear” and “if you stand for nothing you fall for everything”. A counter protest also took place, labelling anti-maskers as “domestic terrorists of 2020”, with many expressing their embarrassment with the actions of their neighbours.
So, when we look at the chaos in the United States, perhaps our chests shouldn’t puff out quite so much. Canada is doing a good job of limiting spread of the virus, even as cases soar worldwide, but we have pockets of naysayers both at home and further afield who are a danger to us all.
In Huron County, we have largely been spared from the dangers of the virus when compared to the impact it’s having on larger city centres. At the same time, we’ve too been spared from the radical and reckless protests that put whole communities at risk. But, with Aylmer being home to about the same number of people as Goderich, it’s now clear we all have to remain vigilant against not only the virus, but neighbours who care more about themselves than the safety of others. – SL
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines while even countries that have taken the threat seriously have been hit hard.
In Europe, England has entered a second lockdown due to the pandemic and Germany, a country with twice the population of Canada, recently had over 13,000 confirmed cases in a single day, more than three times Canada’s most recent highest number of daily cases. So, while the world remains gripped by this disease, Canadians, especially those in rural areas like Huron County, can count themselves lucky that steps to control and contain the disease seem to be working, while in the United States, the virus is flourishing in rural areas, seeing dramatic spread.
That said, residents in Huron and Perth Counties don’t have to look far to know exactly how fast things can break down when someone unknowingly brings the COVID-19 virus into a location. Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has had to deal with an outbreak that resulted in numerous infections and, now, the organization is handling an outbreak at a retirement home with nearly 50 cases and three deaths.
Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen says that, as the HPPH has been doing contact tracing on confirmed cases, they’re finding more high-risk contacts, like being in a car with someone else or sitting for prolonged periods without masks. That means people aren’t taking the pandemic as seriously as they should, which could lead to more outbreaks in retirement homes, long-term care centres or schools.
So, while Huron County residents can feel a little safer than those abroad or even in larger city centres, we’re only one careless asymptomatic carrier away from numerous cases. Even if Huron’s residents feel safe, they all need to continue to practise pandemic precautions for not just themselves, but everyone around them. – JDS