Ford’s back-to-school plan sends kids into COVID battlefield

Plus, racializing the coronavirus, making sense of Stage 3 reopening and real estate reality check in Letters To The Editor this week

Ford’s back-to-school plan risks COVID fatigue

The planning that the Ontario government has done for a return to school in September (NOW Online, July 30) reminds me of that great historical novel War And Peace – a tale that, among -other things, reveals the huge disparity between the tidy plans made over maps in the rear of the action with little regard for the realities and shifting fortunes on the battlefield.

Well, the generals have done their job, as they see it. They have provided the “rules of engagement,” and a notion as to the desired outcome.

But the cannon fodder will be the troops themselves, the teachers and students. All of this warfare is expected to take place while the central purpose of schools – the education of students – goes forward as if there were no distractions at all.

It seems inevitable that battle fatigue will eventually weaken the resolve of even the strongest. 

George Baumann


Schools on edge for COVID return

Op-ed: How Doug Ford Can Send Children Back To School Safely In September (NOW Online, July 28)

Schools are likely to be a cesspool of COVID-19. Children will not follow the protocols consistently enough for them to be effective. On the contrary, their natural proclivities will make all the safety measure ineffective. 

They will forget to wash their hands. They’ll touch their face and mask. They’ll be running, jumping, jostling, rough-housing, laughing too close, whispering too close, sharing their snacks and more. 

Even if all these protocols are followed, the atmosphere will be one where everyone is constantly on edge. And what will happen when someone does contract COVID-19? Will the entire class be quarantined? The entire school?

C. Powell


Racializing coronavirus

Re: White People Are More Afraid Of Carnival Than Coronavirus (NOW, July 23-29). 

As a white man who has been to many Carnival events and parties over the years, I am offended by the title of this article and the first two paragraphs. It is this kind of attitude that is the opposite of what the festival is promoting, which is inclusiveness. To compare the fear of coronavirus to carnival is quite disgusting. Coronavirus is very serious and has killed many people. Articles like this can easily alienate new audiences that can help the festival grow. We should be focusing on building, not tearing down.

Mark B.


Making sense of Stage 3 protocols

Toronto Is Moving Into Stage 3 On Friday (NOW Online, July 29)

Why are airplanes packed and restaurants required to practise physical distancing? It doesn’t make sense. Planes have no ventilation. Restaurants, on the other hand, can open doors and windows for fresh air. 

Kira Bowen


Rubbish on real estate

Re Toronto Real Estate Market Is Headed For a Cliff (NOW Online, August 2) 

Oh my god, I was told the exact same story when I bought my semi in the Beaches 15 years ago. So glad I didn’t listen to the drivel. Look at London! Look at other markets around the world. 

We love to talk about how we are a “world-class” city, yet we still listen to rubbish that the Toronto market will crash, and everyone’s real estate will be worthless.

Toronto just surpassed Chicago in population. So after Mexico City, New York and L.A., it’s the next biggest city in North America. So what direction do you think real estate prices are going? Definitely not toward a cliff.

Michael Shore


COVID for condos

I’m wondering if the current housing market will prompt people working in Toronto to purchase condos closer to their workplaces to avoid public transit, which is abominable at the best of times.

Herb Wiseman


Best Caribbean hits and misses

Re 25 Great Caribbean Restaurants You Can Eat At Right Now (NOW July 23-29). You missed a few of the best – Debe’s (2881 Jane), Lloyd’s (1710 Jane), Scotthill (1943 Avenue).

Zach S.


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