Issues on the ice

New restrictions from the province on gatherings include limits on the number of people who can be on an outdoor ice surface at the same time. Ten is that number (or was when this was written) and as anyone who goes by Slave Lake’s outdoor rinks can see, it is being routinely ignored. Or was, until warm weather made a mess of the ice last week.

Evidently somebody complained about the numbers of people skating – mainly kids, and the RCMP responded. This was not well received by certain people, according to Slave Lake’s mayor. It’s understandable people would get upset if their kids are hassled by the police for doing something as innocent as skating with their friends. But rules are rules, and they are in place for a reason. Community transmission of COVID-19 is rampant in Alberta.

The provincial government has been catching hell for not doing enough to slow it down and the chickens have really been coming home to roost lately, with numbers surging into dangerous territory. Alberta has had by far the highest infection rates. People are dying and hospitals and the people who work in them are under tremendous stress. All of that – as remote as it may seem from the games our kids are playing in Slave Lake, Alberta – factors into the situation.

The local RCMP certainly don’t like having to play the killjoy role in the community. But if there’s a complaint, they have to. From what we heard, it was handled well enough, and the kids complied.

As for the numbers, if it’s a hockey game, there needn’t be more than 10 people on the ice at one time anyway (Though the two-metre distancing sounds tough!).

Otherwise? Well, we all have to adjust our lifestyles. This goes for Christmas parties as well. Rumour has it the recent small outbreak of COVID cases in Slave Lake was traceable to one of those parties.

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