The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer, and Canadians cooped up because of the COVID-19 outbreak may be itching to start enjoying the outdoors.
Infectious disease specialists say that’s fine to do, but they’re still asking people to use common sense in choosing their destinations.
That means crowded parks, boardwalks and beaches are a no-go, at least for now.
“I know the days will start to get nice and it’ll be tempting to get out, but just recognize that right now we’re still in a critical period,” said Natasha Salt, the director of infection prevention and control at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.
“People may acquire COVID-19 and be mildly symptomatic — which is the reason for it to quickly spread to others — and then we would continue to see an escalation of cases.
“So it’s still important to get out but just maintaining that separation and distance is also equally important.”
Photos over the weekend showed Canadians neglecting that advice, as warm weather caused a swarm of Vancouver residents to crowd beaches and boardwalk areas, walking near each other and picnicking in proximity.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist based at Toronto General Hospital, said he was disappointed to see that.
“There’s a few things but first, that’s inappropriate,” Bogoch said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. “I just hope it’s not reflective of what’s happening throughout Canada.
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“It’s OK to go for a walk, but go for a walk by yourself. … That’s obviously not what we saw in the pictures (from Vancouver).”
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