Breaking points

Speaking of breaking points, one may have been reached in the matter of restaurant closures to sit-down dining. First the Whistle Stop Café in tiny Mirror, Alberta decided to defy the provincial health orders and broadcast that it would be re-opening. Then a few days later, Char’s Railway Café, in Smith, did the same thing. There will certainly be others – probably already have been.

In both cases, it’s fair to say, the owners felt it was either that or the death of their business. So they took a chance. They’ll be facing stiff fines, which won’t help the bottom line.

Unless the government blinks.

It’s tough not to feel sympathy for these small-town entrepreneurs. But it’s also worrisome what it might lead to. Anyone in authority has got to be thinking of the big picture. Risk of virus spread and what it might lead to if the trickle of defiance of the health regs turns into a cascade.

What next (they will ask themselves)? Storming of the legislature?

On one hand, the authorities have to get the pandemic under control. And lately the numbers have been decreasing, a sign that tight restrictions have been working. That effort can’t continue to succeed if people don’t buy into it.

But on the other hand….. people can only take so much. So does the government crack down even harder…. Or recognize it has to make some sort of accommodation to public sentiment? There are decent arguments on both sides.

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