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Lots of Responses from SCOI Cottagers!

Hello everyone. Once again we have reached the point where it is no longer possible to keep up with all the messages that have been coming in. However, the comments have begun to take a different tone.

There is a group of ‘regular’ objectionists who need to answer every post or send us a comment every time the Premier approves another restriction being lifted. We have also reached the point where cottage owners are sniping at each other’s comments. This is not Facebook or Twitter. Most of what is being said has already been said many times. We are not getting new information or new perspectives on the situation.

It is obvious from the comments that people, understandably, are very frustrated. Some are angry and only a few are interested in what is best for the Band or the surrounding communities. Most of it is about coming to the cottage and promising to strictly adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

We do not question your sincerity but the problem with this is that human nature will inevitably lead to lapses and some folks will let their guard down, even unintentionally.

Epidemiologists Say it’s Too Soon

No one has written to express concern that a large number of renowned epidemiologists have said that the Province is not testing enough people to support the lifting of restrictions so soon. The experts say that the Provincial government is taking a very large risk in doing so. It is predicted that a second wave that cannot be contained will do irreparable damage to both the human population and the economy.

The majority of COVID cases that got this thing started in Canada came with people travelling here from the USA and elsewhere. Rural communities have largely been spared. So why is there no concern being expressed about the potential impact of all the travellers headed to cottage country? If they can do it, why can’t we? Bruce Arthur nailed it yesterday in the Toronto Star: “We seem to lack the societal and governmental patience to truly wait this thing out.”

No cottager has written to say that allowing, even encouraging, people to go to their recreational property this weekend was reckless. And yet the regional medical officers of health continue to advise people not to travel unnecessarily (travelling to your recreational property is considered non-essential even under the current Provincial State of Emergency legislation). And in those municipalities which the Government has not given legal authority to make people stay home, the mayors are asking those who do come to stay put, isolate for 2 weeks and not travel back and forth between the cottage and home. Some SFN cottagers say they will do that happily. Others will no doubt ignore the request and come anyway to check on things, get the water on, cut the lawn and get the cottage opened up. Then they will leave only to return again in a week or two.

People get offended when told they cannot be trusted.

This isn’t personal. It is a true statement about any population of Ontario cottage owners. No one is naive enough to think everyone who comes will stay until COVID restrictions are lifted. It just won’t happen.

Band Council is wisely playing it as safe as it can to protect its community.

However, they have now lifted restrictions on local contractors and have been asked to reconsider the extension of the restriction for plumbers.

The Chief has indicated that the restriction keeping cottagers away is temporary and that if COVID stats stay low we can expect to get back to our cottages in June.

As far as the SCOI website goes, there is nothing we can do directly to change the current situation. That rests entirely with the Chief & Band Council, the GB Medical Officer of Health and COVID case numbers for the next couple of weeks.

Time to Change the Channel

If there are questions or comments that present a new perspective, or different information that is relevant to our situation (not what is happening in Haldimand-Norfolk and not what the Premier just said), we will be happy to post it.

We are all frustrated and we recognize that this is very hard on everyone.

We all yearn to be back at the Beach.  Anger, picking a fight, bad mouthing someone is not the answer and only feeds the angst. This isn’t anyone’s problem. It is everyone’s problem. Bitching on the website might be good therapy for some but not very nice for others.

Go for a walk, call up your cottage neighbour and commiserate with them. Call up a cottage neighbour who is at their cottage with permission so they can bitch to you about not being allowed to walk on the beach. Help them get some perspective.

We’re On It!

New developments as they become known to us will be posted here and everyone who has subscribed to the site will be notified as soon as it is posted.

I hope you are making the best of your weekend. Get the yard work done because once you leave for the cottage you will likely be expected to stay there.

For those looking for a different perspective (less “me” and more “us”), please listen to Ashleigh Weeden, a Rural Development PhD student at the University of Guelph (link below). Her parents are Block B cottagers.

Be patient, be kind, be safe,

Rob McLaughlin
SCOI secretary/treasurer