Neither corona fatigue nor COVID complacency can be good for business in this year of the pandemic, let alone the people who believe the precautions put in place to combat coronavirus are either a coordinated conspiracy by governments around the globe or a violation of their rights.
In Canada, we’re at approximately the four month mark since the virus began to change our lives .
The RBC Canadian Open, the CP Women’s Open and PGA of Canada national tournaments are among the numerous golf events to be postponed and, given the state of affairs in Florida and the closed border between us and the United States, going to the PGA Merchandise Show in January seems unrealistic for most of us, as well.
With events that traditionally mark our calendars put on hold and the effects of the pandemic seemingly carrying on for quite some time, it’s little wonder that people who were quarantined mostly at home in the early going, prevented from going to work (or lost their jobs) or were unable to see family members on special occasions are somewhat fatigued by the whole thing.
Golf was supposed to be an outlet for that and for the most part, it has been since golf courses across the country were all opening around the middle of May.
At the end of May, the GNN Poll asked readers what the attitude of golfers was towards social distancing and other safety precautions used to protect them against coronavirus and 56 per cent of respondents said excellent, 37 per cent said good and only seven per cent said poor.
I suspect that “poor” crowd were the ones with the conspiracy theories or complaining about their rights, but in the close to two months since that poll was taken, the fatigue of what’s happened might have led to complacency when it comes to the precautions as each province moved on to later phases in their recovery processes.
That makes it necessary for people such as manager Bev Hamm to emphasize the importance of following the safety precautions at Tisdale Riverside in Saskatchewan. You can read that story in Northeast Now here.
Hamm points out that only a small percentage of golfers have issues with the regulations and bending the rules could result in being asked to leave and being suspended from playing the course for 14 days.
Pointing out that the golf course gets regular visits from provincial health officials, she says the possibility of being shut down in an already short season is too big a risk. For those who don’t have issues with the guidelines, but have maybe become lax in following them, she has posted reminders on social media.
Being shut down by health officials would certainly be a harsh sentence, but it also remains a possibility should coronavirus make a comeback after Canada seemingly flattened the curve.
We only need to look at the situation in the United States, with its surge in cases believed to be the result of businesses opening too quickly and people flouting the guidelines about social distancing and large groups, among others.
Whether the U.S. surge is a continuation of the first wave or the beginning of a second wave of coronavirus expected by health officials is unclear. There have been recent upticks in various Canadian communities, including British Columbia, where Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued this dire warning.
From a golf perspective, we don’t want the season to end prematurely after it began late for most of us.
That’s not meant as a prediction. We all know that coronavirus has been unpredictable and being new, even to the medical community, who can predict anything about it?
As the season progresses, the golf industry may need to be more vigilant in enforcing the rules, be it with verbal or social media reminders to go along with the signs you have already posted, or with increased patrols around the golf course to make sure people are still following the rules.
The conceivable alternative to that suggestion is even less desirable.