After a week of rain, Toronto is looking ahead to a gorgeous weekend. But, Ontario’s top doctor says that doesn’t render physical distancing null and void.
It’s expected to reach 18°C on Saturday, and 20°C on Sunday, with both days looking mainly sunny. The forecast brings about memories of that first patio weekend, where coffees are enjoyed on benches and drinks are had under the sun.
However, while Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, is not saying everyone has to stay inside, he is stressing the importance of meticulous planning.
“I’m not discouraging people from going outdoors to do something, to do their jog and run, but you do that in areas where you can seek to maintain your physical distance,” Williams said in a press conference.
“Generally people outdoors will have more space to be apart from each other.”
- See also:
Williams recommends small groups — that means less than five people, usually considered to be a family unit — and if you’re outside for a walk, working to maintain the recommended six-foot distance from other people.
He also says that facial coverings are useful for those who feel they might end up in close proximity to others for a short period of time.
“It depends what you’re doing, what setting you’re in, and how you can maintain that social distancing,” he said, in reference to whether or not people should be getting out to enjoy the weather.
He also commended the community’s cooperation, saying, “everyone’s done a great job with this,” and said he understands that people are experiencing “cabin fever.”
“On a weekend with good weather and stuff like that, I understand it’s very hard for people to stay inside.”
Following the weekend’s projected warm and sunny days, similar — albeit slightly cooler — weather is expected to lead into and through next week.
Monday calls for a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 11°C, and Tuesday should be sunny and 10°C. Wednesday and Thursday show 9°C and 14°C respectively, with a mix of sun and clouds, and then mainly sunny.
According to Williams, these sunny days don’t need to be shunned. They just need to be navigated with intention and mindfulness.
“Plan [outdoor activities] in such a way as though you don’t compromise yourself by losing that physical distancing,” he said, explaining that if everyone goes to the same walking path, at the same time of day, there’s no way you’re going to maintain physical distancing.
“That’s why the planning part is important, rather than on a whim, because if you have the whim you’ve probably got the same as 5,000 other people, and you’re out doing the same thing in the same place. That’s not the plan.”
Planning, he said, will help to ease some aspects as we move forward, without compromising our public health and safety.