I want you to know that our efforts to follow physical distancing have a purpose. Based on today’s announcement by the province’s top health officials, projections suggest COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people in Ontario over the course of this pandemic, which could last up to two years. However, without physical distancing, Ontario would have lost approximately 100,000 lives over the course of this pandemic. It is very clear that COVID-19 has and will have a big impact on how we live and work, so it is very important that we continue with physical distancing and self-isolation so that we can beat this virus.
The list of “essential workplaces” has also been updated and will take effect 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020. Among the notable changes is the shutdown of some construction in the province, but I would like to see more workplaces deemed non-essential and will continue to advocate for that.
During this challenging time, people are thinking about each other as so many individuals have offered assistance over the last few days. I want to thank everyone for your kindness and generosity. We have forwarded donations of gloves and diapers to Mount Sinai Hospital and the Fort York Food Bank. If you have unopened personal protective equipment or other resources that you would like to give away, please contact my office.
We are receiving a number of calls of concern from individuals and small businesses who have struggled to make their rent. Currently, no eviction notices will be enforced. If you receive an eviction notice, do not leave your home. Please get some legal advice to make sure your landlord understands their obligations under the moratorium. Pro Bono Ontario is offering support for landlords and tenants at 1-855-255-7256.
While we must maintain our physical distance, it is important that we build new ways of making social connections. On Friday evening, some of us will be standing on our porches at 7:30 p.m. to applaud the health care and essential workers who are keeping our society going while the rest of us isolate.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, we have received many suggestions on our Facebook page, including several yoga studios that are offering online courses. If you do take these courses, please make a contribution to those companies that would still have to make their rent and pay their staff. Remember to call and stay connected with your loved ones and friends.
We are in this together. Thank you for doing your part.