As weather warms up, Nova Scotians yearn for more freedom
A couple strolls through the Halifax Common on May 14, 2020.
HALIFAX -- With only two new cases of COVID-19 announced on Thursday, and more than 900 people now recovered from the virus, some Nova Scotians are asking when things will start getting back to normal.
The sun was shining and people of all ages were taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather on Thursday.
It’s a welcome distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been in place across the province for the last two months, as many yearn for a little more freedom.
"I think with the weather becoming better and people so housebound, I think the restrictions could be eased at parks like this and the beaches,” said Diana Watt, while out for a walk at Shubie Park in Dartmouth, N.S.
Watt and her husband would like to see restrictions loosened around outdoor activities, but feel rules should be eased more slowly when it comes to business and services.
"You're more congested together and you're more apt to get something, the more congested you are. I kind of think in New York, where everybody's living on top of one another and there's so much more disease there. We have the fresh air and we don't have the diseases, so why not use the natural resources we have,” said Diana Watt.
"A lot of times, if I'm in a store, like a grocery store, or a smaller type of store, you're not very far from the other person, you're only maybe like a couple of feet. So, it's pretty hard to do that distancing,” said James Watt.
While many stores remain closed because of the pandemic, Propeller Brewing Company is about to open a new store this weekend on Quinpool Road in Halifax.
"We were just ready to open right around the time that we were put into a state of emergency in Nova Scotia, so obviously we couldn't do an opening then,” said marketing manager Evelyn Hornbeck.
"Things got a bit slowed down when some of the restrictions came into place for COVID-19, so we're really excited now that we'll be able to open."
It's not exactly the opening Propeller was hoping for at their new location.
There will be cans and bottles to go, but no growlers sold or refilled. Customers also won't be able to enjoy a drink inside -- at least not yet.
"We really look forward to the day that everyone can come, sit down and have a pint, enjoy this space, but for now that's not safe, so we are just excited people will be able to bring a little piece of Propeller home with them,” said Hornbeck.
Halifax Regional Police don't expect to have extra boots on the ground over the Victoria Day weekend. However, they are reminding people to practise physical distancing and obey public health protocols, so they don't have to hand out any tickets.
"We have seen a reduction in both our calls for service and the number of tickets that have been issued over the last number of weeks. Again, we hope that is because people are doing what they are expected to do,” said Halifax Regional Police Const. John McLeod.
While many Nova Scotians have been questioning when the economy will open and restrictions will be lifted, others agree with the slow approach the province is taking to reopening.
"I think that we've opened it up a little bit, people can get outside and enjoy some of the fresh air, which is good but going a little too fast right now makes me nervous, that's for sure. Restaurants and shopping malls and all that kinda stuff, I don't think we're ready for it just yet,” said Cheryl Robinson.
The premier says he feels confident the province is getting closer to a gradual reopening, but that it’s not a competition.
"Other provinces have already opened up, some quicker than others, we are amongst the last, but remember we were the last to receive COVID,” said Stephen McNeil.