This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

EDITORIAL: Education on COVID doesn’t stop defiance

Enforcement needs to happen for people not obeying strict rules

Too many grey areas are causing consternation for people after this prolonged period of restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

To wear masks or not to wear masks? Go out and celebrate summer with your friends and enjoy the outdoors, but stay away from large groups of people. Good luck with that in our crowded parks and packed beaches.

The list goes on and on.

The biggest thing right now moving forward is the mixed messaging. Essentially, we can’t have it both ways. You either do this or you do that.

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The laughable term that’s emerged recently is ‘education’ rather than any enforcement for people who don’t abide by some of the rules that are set in stone. There is no education required at this time for anyone because young people, especially, are well aware of what they shouldn’t be doing in terms of large crowds but go ahead and assemble for big summer parties anyway.

Defiance would be more the word to describe what’s going on. People know exactly what they’re doing and just choose to ignore it. Thus, ‘education’ is going to help alleviate the situation? Hardly.

Many people, including U.S. president Donald Trump, thought this virus would be well under control by now but it’s not. The warmer summer weather that was thought could eradicate it did not.

So as the threat of the virus drags on we have to be more vigilant in curbing its effects. We need a balance of tight restrictions while trying to keep the economy going which is a fine line that’s going to continue to be hard to achieve.

The physical distancing and limiting large gatherings where the virus can spread appears to be the No. 1 hope of seriously curtailing it.

But as long as young people, in particular, decide they need to engage in wild drinking and dancing free-for-alls, with drugs surely involved, to get through the summer then we’re not going to get any farther ahead.

The time to proceed with penalties for disobeying specific rules that require police attention is long past. The ‘education’ process, whatever that means, is not proving to be effective and is just letting people off the hook to do it again.

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