Commentary: Bizarre Covid-19 Rules

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By Neela Ramsundar

I’VE heard 2023 being described as the year “2020 – Part 3” …  And I totally get it. We’re barely into the new year and there are increasing warnings of a new variant of omicron (described) that’s spreading throughout the world, more contagious than any other.

Concerns of lockdowns and intense measures being implemented in the face of this new wave are growing.

These past three years haven’t been easy, and in some cases, pretty insane. Some countries chose pretty bizarre measures to deal with Covid-19. Here’s a few I found on the net for your reading leisure:

Canary Islands – In 2020, the Canary Islands banned smoking in public places, but not for the reason you would think! The President reported indicated the ban was needed since infected smokers could blow out droplets laden with the virus when they exhaled. This logic was mocked since infected non-smokers would do the same thing when they exhaled after breathing in.

New York – The City’s Health Department reportedly issued guidelines encouraging residents to wear masks while having sex… and to “Make it kinky.” It encouraged creativity with sexual positions and the use of physical barriers, like walls, that would allow sexual contact while preventing face-to-face contact. Canadian authorities also reportedly went even further to issue more explicit guidelines, encouraging the use of barriers, like walls with “glory holes”. Don’t google “glory holes” … just use your imagination!

Trinidad & Tobago – Mask wearing in motor vehicles occupied by more than one person became mandatory. No exception was made for family members who lived in the same household and who were living and breathing in the same airspace every day. The fine for breach was $1,000 (approximately US$148).

France – On another extreme, if you wanted to leave the house in France back in 2020, you needed to download and fill out a form on each and every occasion. These forms were checked by the Police for legitimate reasons to be outside. The Police issued fines of up to $150 for violations. Exercising was restricted to within a 2 km radius of your home and recreational cycling was banned.

Panama – At the beginning of the pandemic, Panama reportedly permitted locals to go out on alternate days, according to their sex! Women could leave their homes buy necessities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Men were permitted to leave on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No one could leave their home on Sundays. And when they were permitted to leave, they had a time limit of 2 hours to shop!

South Africa – A total ban on alcohol sales was implemented. The President reportedly stated that reckless behaviour due to alcohol intoxication contributed to the increased transmission.

Cyprus – Restaurants were being permitted to reopen from March 2021 after a Covid-19 lockdown. But, the government placed a ban on “uplifting” music being played! The justification was that such music would encourage patrons to get up and dance, breaking social distancing guidelines. (Eat and be miserable, got it!)

A happy, safe and blessed New Year to all!

Copyright © 2023 Neela Ramsundar, LL.B (HONS), L.E.C is a Civil Litigation Attorney at Law & Certified Mediator.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general informational purposes only and/or contain the opinions and/or thoughts of the writer only. It does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. For legal advice on your specific situation, please contact an Attorney-at-Law of your choosing directly. Liability for any loss or damage of any kind whatsoever allegedly incurred as a consequence of relying on content in this article is thus hereby excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.


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