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Added: Wed, 04/22/2020 - 3:14pm
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Fred Ryan
Éditorialiste Invitée
Guest Editorialist

"Rural areas think they're the coronavirus exception. They're not", headlined the Washington Post last week. Many rural Americans insist on resuming normal
life, and others are crowding Florida's beaches, protesting lock-down measures, and demonstrating against any restraint on their activities. How often do we shake our heads at the Americans' well-known disregard for news and science? Meanwhile the US exceeds China's infection rate.
We may shake our heads at Americans' refusal to deal with the situation facing them; we certainly shouldn’t follow them. We must continue paying attention, especially to the news (multi-sourced professional journalism), and engage our brains so this US attitude doesn’t spread further. Already many in the Pontiac are complaining of the restrictions.
Certainly most of us in the Pontiac are in a much better situation than Canadians in cities (and nursing homes). But what a mistake it would be to drop our guard right now, and open the door to a real wildfire - a second wave of infection. 
One very common complaint is that because coronavirus infections have been so rare here, we ought to be allowed to visit more, travel more, and resume much of
our pre-pandemic lives. 
I'm surprised by the people who feel oppressed because they cannot go shopping in Renfrew or Pembroke! What are they telling us about the vitality of their normal lives, when a shopping trip to a mall is a highlight? Besides that, these folks are not considering the entire landscape: many who feel fine argue they should be personally exempted from the restrictions. Do they really expect the police or other authorities to study the requests and life-stories of everyone, in order to decide if John Doe gets to drive to a mall in Ontario, but Jane Smyth doesn't?  
If we don't have the resources and personnel to handle, say, serious issues
in nursing homes, how could governments marshal enough staff to review all the exemption requests so many feel they have a right to make? Isn't it obvious the only measure practical at this point is a blanket lock-down, enforced by police
and stiff fines? What other measure is even possible - assuming we want to fight the pandemic and not just give up and die? Is this, actually, an opportunity to re-evaluate one's normal life-values - a mindfulness exercise?
The indignation and self-righteousness that drives people's complaints probably grows from the frustration caused by isolation. Shouldn’t we be encouraged by our good fortune, and determined to preserve our "purity"- by not inviting contamination? 
Everyone is stressed by this isolation, yet isolation seems to be working. Our most pressing financial concerns seem covered by our governments. Why now throw in these emotion-driven demands? Isn't it now that we keep up our good work, rely on our good sense, on our sense of community - and on our rationality?