COVID-19 infections are rising in Huron and Perth counties as well, despite our thin rural population and general obedience to public health guidelines. The epicentre in Stratford is a privately operated long-term care home where 43 residents and 19 staff have caught the disease and nine residents have died. Two recent outbreaks in rural townships suggest that community spread might be starting here.
The public health people are very diplomatic about the source of the spread, but I would bet serious money on long-term care staff, especially personal support workers. They are not supposed to work in more than one institution, but they are paid crap wages for unpredictable shifts, and can't really make a living without grabbing all the hours they can get. All the long-term care homes are chronically understaffed but it's even worse now, so the temptation to break the exposure protocols must be irresistible for at least some of these folks.
The small percentage of the community who are given to griping are getting loudly vocal about mask rules, which rather surprises me; for most of us, checking for a mask in our pocket is now almost as firm a habit as ensuring that we have our keys and spectacles when leaving the house. At the bank the other day, I saw a man swan in with no mask, past the big sign with the rules in big letters, past the hand-wash station and the barrier rope, and none of the snugly masked bank staff said boo. But that's still an exception; yesterday I went to the supermarket but never bothered to get out of the car because people were lined up outside in the cutting wind. I don't need anything that can't wait till senior citizens' shopping hour on Monday.
Except maybe lemons. Late November is prime toddy season.