Babies are being born. Grandmas and Grandpas are dying silently in nursing homes. Relatives are cut off from each other, for happening to be on different lines of provincial boundaries that once felt artificial, and are now too real. The Atlantic Bubble is promised—and then taken away again by politicians who claim they are following evidence and science. Mental health deteriorates. People get sad, angry, and depressed.
In some areas outside parks close too. Fitness is spotty at best. Bars, museums, and other cultural gatherings are sometimes allowed, and yet sometimes not. Who can really tell what the rule will be next week? Plans are futile. Concerts won’t be happening any time soon, and summer pastimes will have to be local (maybe, we’ll see). Vaccines are rolling out slowly, and talk of vaccine passports are causing anxiety in anybody who isn’t so sure the vaccine is right for them.
Pressure is mounting across our boundaries—and yet, there is little that we can do. The Atlantic Bubble remains closed and families are still separated. The all-together case count of COVID-19 in New Brunswick is 1,797 and Nova Scotia is 1,831, and PEI 174. To put this into context, Ontario has over 400,000 cases. I will admit that the landmass and cities are larger in Ontario. But I admit this as part of my point. The Atlantic Bubble is not Ontario, and yet our measures are keeping us from living our lives with loved ones. Emergency rooms filling are considered a reason to lock down all of our lives, and yet, I hear few people examining that instead we should be doing everything we can to get new doctors and nurses into jobs, and paying substantially into healthcare. Instead, we’re crippling local tourism, and we’re punishing the young and old alike.
I am not saying we open everything up and let it go. What I suggest is that the Atlantic Bubble resumes, and it allows people to maintain relatively normal lives within the bubble. Isolation if you are exposed, wearing masks, and no out of bubble travel should still be the norm. Shut down planes if you must, but not allowing travel by car (or boat) between our provinces is harming those of us who really aren’t at risk compared to large cities. We are being punished for the actions of those who travel, or for the risk of cross-border services like essential workers. I fail to see how these measures of tourism even stop this, considering essential travel is exempt anyways.
The combined population of Nova Scotia (971,395), New Brunswick (776,827), and PEI (156,947) is 1,905,169 people. For comparison, the population of Toronto is 2.93 million. One million more than all 3 maritime provinces.
According to a tweet from Toronto Public health, there have been 135,575 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto throughout the entire pandemic.
Again, the all-together case count of COVID-19 in New Brunswick is 1,797 and Nova Scotia is 1,831, and PEI 174 bringing our all-time total to 3,802. I’m not amazing at math, but I think this is about .2 of the population that has been infected.
If we add Newfoundland to the mix (521,542), then our total is now 2,426,711 people. Newfoundland has a total of 1,048 covid cases. Our total covid cases of the entire Atlantic bubble? 4,850 cases across all four Atlantic provinces compared to 135,575 cases in Toronto (which is 2.3 million people).
We are shutting down our entire lives over a virus that is barely here. I get it, people are afraid and we want to limit the spread. However, our spread is limited by the very nature of us having small populations. Even if we open up the Atlantic Bubble (in the three maritime provinces at least), we are still 1 million people less than the CITY of Toronto, and with Newfoundland, we are at the 2.4 million mark, only 100,000 more than Toronto. It does not seem to be unreasonable to ask for access to our nearby families and friends, especially considering the emotional toll that is being thrust upon us all, consent be damned.
I want the freedom to travel to Nova Scotia and back to New Brunswick. It’s mindboggling to me that I’d ever have to fill out paperwork and self isolate for the offense of seeing my family. It’s time to stop the nonsense and have proportional lockdowns.
Want to do something? Email our Premiers and demand action.
Premier of New Brunswick
PO Box 6000
Fredericton NB E3B 5H1