Last weekend we received the welcome news from the City that residents could have restricted access to the open green space at our City parks to escape from the confines of the indoors and our properties to enjoy some much-needed fresh air and activity. Expanding on this, the Province has announced additional seasonal services and activities that will be permitted to open starting Saturday, in time for the Victoria Day long weekend. This includes; Golf courses, marinas and private parks.
Beginning Saturday, May 16th, the NCC will close parts of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway to vehicles on weekends during the day to help joggers and cyclists keep their distance.
Starting Tuesday, May 19th, retail stores outside of shopping malls with street entrances can begin reopening with physical distancing measures in place.
As we cautiously begin to open up for business with access to more services and amenities, I reflect on the past two months where we have all had to make sacrifices in order to comply with the measures put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This has been a very difficult time for many people, even for myself. Trying to adjust to the environment of physical distancing and social isolation has weighed on both our physical and mental health. Although we benefit from a vast technological network designed to bring us information, human physical contact and the ability to gather in person is an essential part of our human nature.
This year our traditional May long weekend will be conducted in a very different manner. Normally, this would be a time when people gather with friends and family for bar-b-ques and outdoor activities. However, this year we must approach it with a respect for restrictions on socialization, get-togethers and travel. Physical distancing is still very important in the fight against COVID-19.
Looking ahead this weekend there is sunshine in the forecast. Although you cannot gather with more than five members outside of your own household, I encourage you all to take this opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the weather while continuing to observe physical distancing. Enjoy green spaces close to home. Go for walks, take a bike ride or work in your own backyard gardens. We continue to be in this together.
Wishing you and your family and friends a safe and happy long weekend!