Doug Millroy: Lockdowns Don’t Upset Me

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As much as I hated not being able to move about freely and as much as I know small businesses were hurting from the emergency lockdown which just ended, I must admit I wouldn’t have been upset if it had been carried on for another two weeks.

After all, by doing so might prevent another one in the not too distant future since the variants of Covid-19, which spread so much more quickly, are now in play in the province.
In the Algoma District we seem to have a pretty good handle on things at the moment but that can change quickly.

We were doing really well in the fall and then something happened, our totals of those testing positive almost doubling in short order.

As of this writing we have had 194 people test positive, 146 in the Sault and area, 34 in Central and East Algoma, 11 in Elliot Lake and area and three in North Algoma.

Some complain over the Internet that the lockdowns don’t do any good, but we at one time had more than 3,000 positive tests a day in the province and we are now mainly down to under 1,000.

That has to say something in their favour.

But even with the emergency powers now off, we are being asked to continue to wear masks and observe social distancing.

I don’t think that is too much to ask.

I note Dr. Jim Chirico, medical officer of health for the North Bay Parry Sound District, has recommended the district continue to be in lockdown until March 8.

He said there is a small window of opportunity to control COVID-19 variants – which if left unchecked could lead to more people becoming ill and dying.

“Now is not the time to be opening up our district,” he said.

He said that between Jan. 28 and Feb. 18, 68 per cent of all district COVID-19 cases have been variants, which he noted is significantly higher than the rest of the province. As of last Friday, there have been 20 preliminary positive variant cases in Nipissing District and two in Parry Sound District.

“We have a small window of opportunity to try and stop the spread of VOCs in our communities. If we do not continue to follow precautions and prevent a surge of COVID-19 variants of concern, more people will become ill and more people will die,” he said.

With the variants in play there I can understand why he is recommending the lockdown be extended until March 8, but even without them being prevalent here I would not be averse to another two weeks of lockdown.

Whatever it is going to take to beat this thing I am for.

One thing I would say about masks, some people need to take some training in regard to how to use them.

They go over the nose, not under it.

I DON’T THINK I WILL get over some of the things the city traffic people are doing to us, the boondoggle at the intersection of McNabb and Elmwood being the latest to annoy me.
I wrote about this when I first came across it last fall, discovering that the straight line we used to have travelling the curb lane on McNabb to St. George’s Avenue had become a turn lane onto Elmwood Avenue.

I don’t travel this route often so I didn’t think about it again until one day last week when, approaching it after travelling in the curb lane of McNabb from Black Road, I noticed the yellow sign as I approached Elmwood alerting me that I was in an exit lane and had to turn right.

So I signalled and, with no traffic in the inside lane, swung into it for 30 feet or so and then followed the lane line back to the curb lane.

Looking in my rear view mirror, I saw that the vehicle following me did the same, swerving left briefly and then swinging back to the curb.

You can’t help but think, what the hell has happened to common sense.

I find it hard to believe that even the person who thought this up could really think it was the way to go.

And I find it even harder to believe the people atop the city traffic department would go along with it.

But as soon as that thought came out, it was followed by another.

It was the people atop the traffic department who back in 2015 let stand the mistake by the line painters from Guelph at the intersection of Albert and East Streets, probably a greater source of annoyance to me than this one.

I came to the Sault in 1975 and at that time, and until last year when reconstruction of that portion of McNabb was completed, traffic flowed in the curb lane on McNabb to where it joined St. George’s. Traffic in the inside lane could either turn left onto one of the side streets or signal to move into the curb lane.

You never even thought about it.

Now, with the change, I find I certainly have to.

I know nothing is going to be done about it because I seem to be a lone voice, most drivers in the Sault seemingly prepared to put up with just about anything the traffic people throw at them.

My frustration level just gets the best of me so when I see something I consider outrageous. When that happens I find I just have to say something.

So consider it said.

6 COMMENTS

  1. The traffic flow in this city has become laughable. Doug, you should look into the qualifications of our city’s Manager of Traffic and Communications. I don’t think he was the designer but he definitely approved this joke of traffic flow.
    I’d also love to know why painted lines from the summer cannot last until at least the end of January? Is it a cost issue? Are we using latex paint to save the environment? Seems that the cost of applying the lines would be the same wether the paint was good or bad. Just a few bucks more for decent paint.

    • They’re using a crappy environmentally friendly paint. They switched about maybe 10 years ago or so.

      Most of the “engineers” and managers at the city have no clue how to manage and maintain infrastructure . Why do you think they constantly hire consultants and get ideas from Toronto?

    • They were using leaded paint for lines for years. That held up well…very cost-effective. Then the environmentalists decided that cheap latex paint would SAVE the environment. The result is more requirements to paint and an inferior product being applied.

  2. I think any proposed traffic changes by city staff should be run by a local citizens group before being implemented. (This is different than holding public information sessions.) It’s easy for people at the center of decision-making to get tunnel-visioned into a particular choice of action. There are folks in the city who have a lot of common sense – why not utilize them.

    Reply moderated
  3. I agree with you Doug on the McNab situation. Why is Elmwood suddenly such a priority for turning than ever before? Do residents not make turns on other streets near Elmwood and do so without any problems? It is even worse now that the lines are covered in snow. Expect to see accidents as drivers try to figure out which lane they should be in.
    The East Street situation is ridiculous but will never be fixed as no one at city hall wants to admit they made a mistake.

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