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OPINION: Vancouver Mayor says nicely, "The time of asking nicely is coming to an end" regarding #COVIDIOTS

File photo of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. Photo Dan Toulgoet.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart spoke at a press conference this afternoon regarding the City's plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Vancouver.

He cited the Park Board prohibiting parking at high traffic parks as of today, restaurants ordered to close in-lounge dining, and noted that "Those found in violation of these ctiticlal orders will be subject to significant fines," and that we all need to be "looking out for our "most vulnerable neighbours."

The City is looking into the possibility of a general order for non-essential workers to "stay put", but they are not implementing it just yet.

He said nicely, "The message to everyone is clear: Shut down, stay put, save lives."

In a tempered tone he gently scolded people who are flaunting the advice from the provincial government to practice social distancing and isolation.

He mentioned that residents should not be practicing "reckless behaviour like playing beer pong in the middle of a pandemic," and that "The time of asking nicely is coming to an end."

But apparently that time has not yet come to an end, because he asked nicely.

He stated that our actions "Could be the difference between life and death," for our neighbours, which is the message that has been shared repeatedly by the provincial government, City, health officials and columnists frustrated with the people who are not complying, living their lives as if nothing was happening by gathering in public spaces.

City Manager Sadhu Johnston then spoke, warning that fines of up to $50,000 could be issued to businesses who fail to comply with shutting their doors.

He then urged residents to stay home, saying "If you don't need to be out, stay home," and "Maintain a 2-metre distance from others, and don't gather in public places."

There was no mention of fines or other penalties for people who continue to gather in groups, or what the next steps may be if people continue to act like idiots out there.

Who knows when it will finally be time for the Mayor and the City to stop asking nicely. My bet would be this coming Tuesday.