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Three months in: what's next?


First off, I want to thank everyone who shared their feedback on last week's e-blast, Re-defining policing. I’m working my way through all your thoughtful responses and am so grateful to be guided by them.

There is something psychologically daunting about three months. After the first two weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown, I was over the delicious feeling of stealing some rare time at home, in between the many conference calls and virtual meetings. That feeling has multiplied many times over now that we're three months in. For example: normally, I love cooking for my family — especially for my three grandkids and their speedy little metabolisms. By mid-April, I was sick of meal-planning for seven people and longing for my office at City Hall where work is done in-person.

At week six, we were sick of the grandkids staying up all night playing video games when Mom and Gramma both work in the morning, ruining our precious sleep. Thankfully, their basketball coach was sick of it, too, and began a rigorous Zoom Workout Regime, topped off with a daily 3-kilometre run before dinner. By week eight, we were sick of the kids' workouts dictating the day's schedule but hey — at least they sleep like logs! Best practices Something happens to the brain at three months. Rationally, we know we will have the world back one day, but the longer the pandemic goes on, the dimmer the light at the end of the tunnel seems. Most people have now adopted germ-fighting tactics, and these may stay with us forever. But if these tactics keep us healthy, shouldn't we hang on to them?

I hug too much. I love people; I hug and shake hands both coming and going, all day long. Maybe that behaviour should be toned down a bit, and particularly during flu season. Being vigorous when washing hands really isn’t so bad, especially now that soap and sanitizer dispensers are being refilled religiously. That's something we should keep going. Wearing a mask to keep people around you safe when you think you may be sick really isn't that hard. There are cities in Asia where this has been considered good manners for years.

Now that we are used to seeing one another in masks, let’s remember to wear them whenever physical distancing isn't easy. And even when the pandemic is over, let's make this a normal habit and respect anyone who chooses to wear a mask for safety reasons. What's next Lately, we’ve been getting calls about what the rules are from one week to the next. The rules are still changing all the time, and it's getting more difficult to discern new information. I understand this can be frustrating — there is a political leader or medical expert talking at you every time you turn on the TV. However, my great DVN team has you covered. See below for our latest cheat sheet on current guidelines. While the rest of Ontario has been given the go-ahead to move into Stage 2 of re-opening, Toronto still has too many cases to make that leap. While we work on getting our cases down, we will remain in Stage 1. Here's a breakdown of what's currently operating and what's still closed:

Once we can enter Stage 2, we can look forward to:

  • Shopping malls re-opening

  • Restaurants and bars serving customers seated outdoors

  • Barber shops, hair salons and tattoo parlors operating

  • Swimming pools, campgrounds and guided tours resuming

I will update you with full details once Toronto is clear to move on to the next Stage. For a full list of changes to City services during COVID-19, click here. Final thoughts One last thought: make the most of Father’s Day this weekend if you are lucky enough to be with yours. Some dads will be working, maybe as first responders or front-line workers on their special day, and they deserve your thanks.

At the same time, some dads aren’t working at all because of the virus, but they still deserve your appreciation. I’ll be waving to mine through a window at his long-term care home. We’re all doing our best — and right now, that's all we can do. So get out there and enjoy the day, safely.


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