You’re walking down the street. There is an older woman shuffling along with her full McCafe coffee cup. She has just left McDonald’s. She’s walking directly in front of you. There is another woman coming down the street towards you. She sees the older woman shuffling towards her and steps into the alley to give her sufficient space to safely social distance (2 metres). You look at this as an opportunity to pass the older woman, stepping into the gap created by the second woman effectively closing the gap between the older woman and the second woman.  They are now both within a few feet of you.  No one is wearing a mask.

You and two friends are walking along the boardwalk by the Lake. You are all somewhat social distanced from one another: there is approximately 3 feet (1 meter) between each of you. There are gaps of boardwalk to the left and the right of your group as you stroll along. There is someone coming towards you: a lone person. You and your friends do not shift into a single file formation. Rather you take a step towards the person on your left giving the person approaching approximately an additional foot (30 cm) or three feet in total (1 metre) in which to pass you in the opposite direction.  In other words, you them give them insufficient space to effectively social distance from you and your group and they must step off the boardwalk in order to do so. No one is wearing a mask.

You and your wife are strolling along the boardwalk. You’re walking in the centre of the boardwalk with gaps on both sides.  There is someone strolling towards you in the other direction. She is walking along the far edge of the boardwalk consciously trying to create sufficient social distance between all of you. There is a construction site up ahead and you are curious. You decide to look at the construction.  You take your wife’s hand and lead her towards the site effectively stepping directly in front of the approaching person whose only choice is to stop walking or physically run into you or your wife. No one is wearing a mask.

You are a runner. You are physically fit. You’re definitely under 50 and possibly under 40. You’re out for a run. There are people walking along the sidewalk and there are people walking along the boardwalk. Rather than run in a wide arc around these people or shout to them that you are approaching so they may safely step aside creating greater distance between the two of you, you listen to the music streaming from your air buds and run up behind them, then run within 2 feet (60 cm) of them as you pass them completing your arc by cutting back in front of them, again within 2 feet (60 cm). No one is wearing a mask.

You are out for a stroll with your children.  There is someone coming down the street in the opposite direction. In order to give you and your children 2 meters of social distance the approaching person steps off the sidewalk and onto the nearest driveway. Your children run ahead.  They run up the driveway, around the trees, and smile- all within 2 feet (60 cm) of the person who stepped aside to give you sufficient space to social distance. No one is wearing a mask.

You are out shopping and need to go to the pharmacy. There is an older gentleman moving slowly and leaning into his walker as he approaches the pharmacy entrance door. There is a woman standing to the right of the door giving the older gentleman time and space to move himself safely to the entrance door, press the handicap button, and enter the store. You are in a hurry. You walk in front of the old man and between the old man and the woman. You enter the store and go on about getting your errands done in a timely manner. No one is wearing a mask.*

If you are any of these people, I have two words for you. Feel free to choose them.

Perhaps I should have titled this “Why Toronto Covid-19 numbers continue to be high.”


*This occurred before masks were mandated. It was the first time I was shocked to see such blatant disregard for an elderly person’s physical health and well-being. Sadly it has not been the last.