The contradictions in COVID restrictions are causing unnecessary confusion

The guidelines are confusing because they have been inconsistent, not because people don’t understand them

(Kristen Frier)

In these times, it’s up to the government to make the right decisions for their populace. The pressure can be enormous. The potential for screw-ups is massive, and any mistake threatens to shatter the already fragile trust that the population has in the government.

If the government is clear in their intentions and has the evidence to back up its decisions, the people under them might be more willing to follow their orders. That being said, if the decisions are made all willy-nilly, and the government’s message comes across as sounding like, “Don’t do this thing, but you are still allowed to do it to a lesser-extent,” you’re bound to get lots of frustration, confusion, and anger.

There is an aggravating sense of indecision with each guideline that is introduced. An example of this is how restaurants in B.C. were ordered to stop indoor dining, then later allowed to reopen and continue indoor dining with restrictions, then ordered again to stop indoor dining with only patio dining allowed.

Restaurants should be allowed to do what they can to keep business flowing and people employed while keeping infections low, but constantly changing the guidelines is taking its toll.

Another example of this is the inconsistency of travel restrictions inside the country. In a move that has caused frustration in many, despite the order to cancel our travel plans throughout the country unless essential, the Canadian government recently allowed international flights from India carrying COVID-infected passengers to land in Vancouver.

At this time, we are expected to reduce travelling to anywhere at a minimum. We are advised against visiting seniors whose interactions with family are already limited.

Yet people from other countries, who may be infected with a new variant, were allowed to travel here because the government dragged its feet in suspending flights from COVID hotspots from outside the country.

The contradiction of letting COVID-infected passengers into Canada while still discouraging non-essential travel to Canadians is not easy to ignore.

The delayed rollout of vaccines has also been frustrating. The U.S. has shown that when the chips are down, it was able to unite and vaccinate its people as efficiently as possible, utilizing its resources to eliminate COVID-19. It has gotten to the point where even the U.S. has offered to send Canada spare doses.

Several governments have been strict with their lockdown measures. New Zealand is a perfect example of this. They shut down all travel to and from their country, keeping social gatherings and events at an extreme minimum and encouraging everyone to be in lockdown. This measure was a success, and soon enough, they were able to safely reopen events in the country.

If our governments were better prepared to be firm and consistent with the rules put in place to protect us, we might have had a better start to actually get out of this situation and join all the other countries in reopening safely. Instead, there have been contradictions and mistakes which have caused confusion for many, and this has only made things worse.