Toronto mayor 'astounded' at indifference to COVID-19 lockdown
Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is “astounded” at the level of indifference shown by some as the city continues its time in a lockdown due to COVID-19, with deaths and intensive care unit occupancy in area hospitals climbing steadily.
TORONTO -- Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is “astounded” at the level of indifference shown by some as the city continues its time in a lockdown due to COVID-19, with deaths and intensive care unit occupancy in area hospitals climbing steadily.
Sixteen Toronto residents died of COVID-19 in the past two days, he said, and other people are carrying on as if nothing is happening.
“I am astounded at the fact that we have had 16 deaths in the past two days. If we had those 16 deaths from fires, or 16 deaths from criminal activity, or 16 deaths from auto collisions with pedestrians, people would be out of their minds saying what is going on here and asking us what we’re doing about it,” Tory told CP24 on Sunday.
“And yet what we have for unfortunately a substantial minority of people that are just going about their business and going off shopping somewhere and doing this sort of thing when the hospitals are beginning to show the strain.”
The latest data provided to physicians across Ontario shows that hospital ICUs are caring for 251 COVID-19 patients, approaching the 264 they cared for at the peak of the first wave in April.
“We said that if people didn’t stay home and socialize with the people they live with only, we said that this would happen.”
Toronto and Peel Region have been in lockdown, albeit with schools and some essential retail still open, since Nov. 23. The situation will be reassessed on Dec. 21.
On Monday, York Region and Windsor-Essex will also go into lockdown.
“I don’t think people get it, I don’t think people get that the intensive care units are filling up,” Tory said.
Last week, provincial modellers found using smart device GPS data that the restrictions imposed on Toronto and much of the GTA prior to the lockdown order on Nov. 23 were only having about half as much of an effect on daily mobility as the lockdown during Wave 1 in April.
Tory said that “COVID-fatigue,” and the arrival of a vaccine may be pushing people to be complacent.
But he urged people to avoid gathering with those outside their household over Christmas.