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Josh Lewis

Two recent incidents on the Island have underscored the need for authorities to come down harder on people who willfully disobey public health measures, selfishly putting others’ health at risk.

By now we all know about the incident in Summerside where five people from Ontario entered Walmart immediately after coming from the Confederation Bridge, blatantly ignoring the instructions they had been given only 25 minutes earlier.

The other incident is less known. Journalism student Thinh Nguyen was at Tim Hortons on Kent Street in Charlottetown on April 22 when a man entered without a mask and refused to write down his phone number for contact tracing. He verbally abused employees and other patrons before being asked to leave. People have been behaving this way at businesses on a regular basis. We just don’t hear about most of them. 

I am tired of the kid gloves approach from this and other governments across the country. It made sense initially, when people could reasonably claim they didn’t know all the regulations. But every single person knows them now. People who refuse to wear masks or social distance or comply with other health measures aren’t doing it out of ignorance. It is intentional, and it should bring consequences.

It would be one thing if these folks were only putting themselves at risk. But the health of the general public should be a greater priority than the pocketbooks of people who behave like spoiled children when asked to do their part to keep others safe.

All across this country and the world, people have died as a direct result of the actions of COVID deniers, or as I like to call them, Branch Covidians. And these people have mostly gotten away scot-free despite their reckless disregard for human life.

The provincial government has done an exceptional job so far, but taking all measures to protect the safety of Islanders should include heavier enforcement. No more kid gloves, please.

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