By Tim Kalinowski on May 6, 2021.
Mayor Chris Spearman had one message for Lethbridge residents on Wednesday: Comply with all provincial public health orders to control the spread of COVID-19, and help end these most recent lockdowns sooner.
“I am happy the premier has stepped up and increased the restrictions in order to get ahead of this,” Spearman stated to reporters. “We need to make sure everybody in the community is supporting the message, everybody is doing the best they can, and abiding by the health orders in every way possible. Anybody who is not abiding by the health orders, and encouraging others to not abide by the health orders, is really undermining the message, and potentially harming public health.”
Spearman said he has heard complaints about recent demonstrations against public health orders along Mayor Magrath Drive and outside of Chinook Regional Hospital with some people asking for more enforcement. He said he is also troubled by reports of demonstrators harassing people trying to go in to get themselves vaccinated.
“They are only really hurting their neighbours and their friends, and our economy,” Spearman stated bluntly. “Anybody who is choosing to deliberately skirt the rules is hurting everybody in our city, and prolonging the lockdowns. If you are opposed to these lockdowns, they will end sooner if everybody complies. They will drag out if people do not comply, and we continue to have outbreaks.
“We have to bend the curve,” he added later. “I hate to use that cliche, but we really have to get to a point where our communities are safe. If businesses are to stay open, and if there is to be any predictability, we really have to beat the virus. The only way to do that is through the vaccines. So we have to (vaccinate) people to the point where our communities are safe, and we don’t keep having these waves.”
Spearman said, in his opinion, it was past the time for protest, and Lethbridge residents needed to get on with respecting public health orders, including those around social gatherings, so the community can come to grips with escalating COVID cases in our midst.
“People are bored, we understand that,” Spearman said. “They are frustrated. They want to see their families, they want to see their friend, but inappropriate social gatherings are a problem. We see people gathering socially, and then taking COVID-19 into their workplaces. It has been walked into the schools.
“I think the message really is control the spread,” he added. “I think it is an opportunity for Lethbridge, and those in Lethbridge, to make sure we are doing our best to control that spread.”
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