This blog may be out of date by the time I finish it, but such is the way in this strange and frightening world we find ourselves in.
Monday was my daughter’s birthday and I didn’t get a chance to see her that day or on the weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the grandbaby she handed me last May is now crawling and giggling everywhere. Who knows how long this isolation is going to last and I’m hoping I don’t miss my granddaughter’s first steps or her first birthday.
The reason I mention this is that such moments are the ones you cherish, yet would sacrifice for the greater good, that being her health in this case.
I’ve also been banned by said daughter from going outside these four walls for my own good. I turn 65 in a few weeks, which puts me in that age group that is susceptible to this coronavirus. I feel fine, but why take chances, right?
Not enough is known about coronavirus to make an accurate call, but I mostly accepted the precautions golf courses that wanted to open were taking to protect those who want to get in their first rounds of the year, who also made good points in weekend debates on Twitter about whether golf courses should open or not.
Ian Leggatt, the former PGA Tour player who now serves as director of golf/general manager of Summit Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Ont., and is a guy who loves golf as much as anybody, let his feelings be known and heard from the other side of the argument.
How about just staying away, period?! Stop making this seem so cavalier for people to get outside to play. We are enabling this disease. Golf associations around the world are shutting down the game. Do we need more deaths/cases before you stop writing articles that it’s safe?
— Ian Leggatt (@LeggoGolf) March 23, 2020
Those thinking about going to a public golf course and playing should stay away but donate a % of your green fee to keep the people that will be there when we all come back to play afloat. Private members, please pay your dues…same applies. We need golf to survive this period!
— Ian Leggatt (@LeggoGolf) March 22, 2020
While all made good points, the issue of whether to open or not may be may not be the decision of golf operations, at least for the time being.
On Monday, politicians at various levels were visibly upset with images that showed Canadians in different parts of the country enjoying the early spring sunshine, paying little attention to social distance.
“Enough is enough. Go home and stay home,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday morning.
After Ontario confirmed 78 new cases of coronavirus, the biggest one-day rise so far, Premier Doug Ford announced only essential services could open as of Tuesday at midnight. The long list of what’s considered essential is here, but golf isn’t on it.
Premier François Legault also announced that Quebec is being put in partial lockdown. The compete list of those businesses is here, but golf courses isn’t on it.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, it was announced that businesses exempt from mandatory closures include those that sell food, pharmaceuticals, medicine, cleaning, baby care and hygiene products, gas stations, hardware stores, computer and cellphone repair businesses, electronic, office supply stores and pet and animal supply stores, but not golf courses.
In British Columbia, where 48 new positive tests for coronavirus were announced on Monday with three more deaths, British Columbia Golf, the governing body of the game in that province, has sent this letter to provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, requesting her to close all B.C. courses.
The speed with which things happen these days may mean all golf courses in Canada will remain closed for the foreseeable future and it may not be their call, but the government’s.
You can decide if it’s for their own good.
Let the debate begin.