by Harvey Oberfeld
November 8, 2020
It’s too much! BC is NOT Cuba, China or Venezuela … and Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Big Brother Adrian Dix and Big Brother John Horgan’s latest dictates aimed at controlling the Coronavirus exceed reason, reasonability and our human rights..
Henry Saturday announced new rules BANNING any PRIVATE social gatherings of any size in PRIVATE HOMES with anyone not already living with your immediate household in the Lower Mainland.
NO visitors in ANYONE’s private home, not even ONE son or daughter or friend allowed to drop over to visit or help. Even if they wear masks, distance while visiting.
For anyone with mobility challenges, especially elderly couples or singles, already struggling with isolation, unable to walk far, having Covid fears of using taxis or buses, this is solitary confinement! Cruel and unusual punishment!
Especially when Big Brother and Big Sister ORDER them not to even allow ONE or TWO people now from their already small personal bubble inside their PRIVATE home!
And yet, those who can manage to get out CAN still meet in restaurants, in bars, where people sit across tables much closer to each other than in a living room … in groups up to six …with other groups of strangers nearby.
In fact, think about it: the NEW rule actually makes things MORE dangerous. It encourages those who are mobile, instead of having one or two friends in for tea/lunch to go out to socialize! And drive, take taxis, buses to restaurants, cafes, other inside venues … surely more vulnerable than having ONE or TWO people visit in your own home!!!!
This is Big Brother … or should I say Big Sister … over-reach!
I believe it VIOLATES the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which declares and enshrines:
” 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.”
Dr. Henry’s new Orders violate both 2 (b) and 2 (c).
NO government and NO government agency, I believe, has the right to tell any Canadian they cannot have ANYONE in their PRIVATE home if they meet all the other public health rules, such as mask-wearing, self-distancing, hand-washing and don’t violate other laws/bylaws, such as noise, disturbances etc.
This is government gone too far!
Where the hell were BC’s media Saturday in raising tough questions about Dr. Henry and Brother Dix’s arbitrary imposition of such selective dictatorial controls/restrictions?????
Too many reporters, especially at the Legislature, are being too soft, too friendly in just delivering Dr. Henry’s and the NDP government’s messages/rules and dictates TO the public, instead of the other way round, representing the public TO the politicians and public officials …. which should be their REAL role!!
Dr. Henry’s new orders also impose several other restrictions on Lower Mainlanders when it comes to activities/ travel within and outside the region.
Dr. Henry says the new rules will only be “temporary” … in effect for for two weeks.
Let’s keep it real: that may not be the case … there is NOTHING to stop Henry from extending the private home-visit ban, especially if people meekly just go along with this violation of our Charter rights.
NO government or officials, in a democratic country, should be permitted to TOTALLY BAN citizens from having ANY visitors in our PRIVATE homes!!! Not even ONE? or TWO?
Really? Is that a true threat to public health … or government just over-reaching, invading and controlling PRIVATE spaces, because it thinks it can?
Castro, Xi and Maduro would approve … but WE must not!
We’re not talking large gatherings here, parties or celebrations: the latest BAN attempt is on ANY visitor, even your closest relative or friend. TOO much!
I get it. The virus must be stopped, or at least contained as much as possible until and even after a vaccine is made available.
I get it. The number of cases in the Lower Mainland, upwards of 550 a day recently, are scary and must be cut.
I get it. Activities and venues that are contributing to the rising rates need more and better control … some may warrant even closure.
But the great initial success in fighting the virus in BC was through public co-operation, shutdown of public places; curbing of public activities.
NOT invading and interfering in people’s private lives in their private homes, especially where they are willingly following Dr. Henry’s own guidelines and policies on masks, self-distancing, hand-washing.
Denying people even ONE or TWO visitors, from their own already limited bubbles, in their own homes goes too far!
There have already been studies showing how isolation and loneliness is hurting too many people too hard … especially singles and seniors living alone.
To order anyone, but especially singles and seniors, NOT to have even ONE or TWO family members or close friends drop by and visit … even if they wear masks, wash their hands and self-distance … is beyond reason.
That will only make things even worse, because public co-operation and compliance is a pre-requisite for any societal rules to work.
And the latest ban exceeds the social and personal saturation point norms: it will just increase social isolation, disrespect and disobedience when it comes to Covid-fighting efforts.
Dr. Henry MUST change this order to be more realistic, more credible and therefore more effective.
Or most will just ignore it.