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Muskoka Post Staff
On Friday March 27, during a press conference Premier Doug Ford urged urban residents with seasonal homes in Muskoka to avoid cottage country during the Covid-19 crisis.
Muskoka mayors and residents requested Ford deliver the message to discourage visitors at this time.
“If you have a cottage please don’t come up to the cottage. If a bunch head up there the retail stores don’t have the vital essentials and also the hospitals, they don’t have the vital capacity that we do in urban settings,” he said.
Ford himself has a cottage in Muskoka and said that he’d love to go too but not right now.
The local social media reaction to Ford’s recommendation that cottagers and visitors stay away was mixed.
Kim Laramie: "I work in a grocery store and no one is listening."
Brandi Bell-Santos: "This virus is changing day by day. I never heard anything about not being able to go to the cottage before this. We never went to the grocery store or to the hospital while we visited our cottage, we only went up to put sand bags around in case of flooding like last year. We never saw anyone while we were there. I don’t think it’s fair to say that all cottagers are selfish and only think of themselves."
Angela Pighin: "There has already been an influx of cottagers that have arrived and were shopping at local stores 😥"
Laura Taylor: "Why are we seeing so many U.S. licence plates in cottage country, if all non essential travel has been implemented at the Canadian borders?"
Kim Pearson: "Much too late. The influx of cottagers has more than taxed all of the retail and systems in Muskoka. Just wait till they make it to the health care system. There is more American plates then ever before. When do we send them back also."
Norbert Schroeder: "It is a catch 22, retailers, shops, rentals all depend on the tourists and cottagers to survive the seasonal model of income. I don't plan on visiting my waterfront lot on the Magnetawan River."
Mike Bromley: "Surprised? We're barely on lockdown in Ontario. Many businesses are still operating. People aren't going to take the message seriously when it's one filled with half-measures. Can promise you that come early-mid April when weather is getting warmer and people are jobless having already been cooped up for a month, they will start slacking on social distancing unless the governent is actually going to make hard choices shutting down non-essential "essential" businesses We're getting the mixed message from gov that distancing is absolutely vital while we're watching gov sacrifice that distancing for economic gain. Mixed message.. mixed reaction. Not a whole lot is going to stop people from living in their own house if it's in cottage country unless gov actually shuts things down... which it clearly doesn't plan to so far."