Brave new world

On Monday Premier Ford extended his State of Emergency declaration for another two weeks. The original order was to expire on March 31.

Welcome to the brave new world of COVID-19.

From its impact on the global economy to our daily lives, COVID-19 has left and will continue to leave an enormous impact on how we consume, how we learn, how we work, and how we socialize and communicate.

Society runs on information and connections, and we live in an age where both are immediately accessible, anytime, anywhere from a multitude of devices. With platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, users can share information with only a simple click.

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It’s time to be together – apart

As a community we need to continue working together to protect one another.

This means: social distancing – personally, I think physical distancing is clearer, is to be strictly adhered to. Everyone must avoid crowded areas and maintain a distance of two meters (six feet) from people around you.

This means: if you travelled during March Break you must self-isolate for two weeks. When you arrive – be it by plane or driving over the border, go home and stay there.

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Time to come together

What a difference a few days make. Last Friday there were only three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Durham Region – now there are eight. Over the weekend, the number of confirmed cases in Canada climbed from 197 to 341. In Ontario 32 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday morning, bringing the new provincial active total to 172.

This is moving very quickly. Decisions are being made fluidly. The status of cases on Ontario updates twice a day. After the Ontario Government announced last Thursday that all publicly funded schools will be off until April 5 more cancellations and closures ensued.

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Awareness is key

Are we better prepared than we were for the great influenza pandemic of 1918?

In 1918, the great influenza pandemic killed as many people in 11 months as the medieval Black Death did in four years. Ultimately, at least 50 million may have perished. The most damaging epidemic of influenza – for Canada and the world, appeared during the First World War. The Spanish flu of 1918–19 killed between 20 and 100 million people, including about 30,000–50,000 Canadians.

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Much Ado About Mapping

When the proposed Zone Clarington rezoning of rural lands came to light – and the new zoning maps were made available, things got heated with the possible expansion of Environmentally Protected lands.

The protected lands were centred on wetlands, significant water features or wood lots. What has come to light is that the maps used by the municipality may be outdated. This has been confirmed many times by staff – the mapping is flawed.

Should you disagree with an identified environmental feature it is up to property owners to contact the Planning Department to ask for a site visit to demonstrate how the Municipality’s mapping may be inaccurate.

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