EDITORIAL: Holiday parties, travel a slap in the face for the rest of us

It was both surprising and disheartening to learn Monday that Surrey RCMP issued four $2,300 fines to party hosts on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, including one in South Surrey – surprising that there weren’t more; disheartening that there were any at all.

Out of 29 calls of complaint investigated by police, seven “had some level of non-compliance,” Sgt. Elenore Sturko told Black Press Media.

Three of these, presumably, were not deemed egregious enough to warrant a ticket.

Four, however, managed to cross that line.

Sturko’s description of how officers found party guests hiding and waiting for them to leave, while others simply refused to open the door to police, gives a pretty clear indication that these people knew very well that they were breaking the rules.

Kind of like if, for example, you packed a sweater for a Caribbean vacation and wore it during Zoom meetings, while setting your social media posts to make it look like you were home in Canada, where, by rights, you really ought to have been.

But we digress.

What’s truly disheartening is that people are still finding ways to bend or outright ignore any COVID-19 restrictions they find inconvenient.

They will, of course, come up with any number of ways to justify their actions.

Perhaps they’ll tell you that it’s a family tradition, not unlike, again just as an example, packing up the kids and spending the holiday on a beach in Maui or Mexico. But, again, we digress.

Since we’re on the topic, though, when it comes to following the rules and recommendations set out for us as we continue to navigate this global pandemic, should we expect more from average citizens when we can’t count on the people we elected to lead us to do that – to lead by example?

Locally, our representatives, appear to have to done the right thing and stuck closer home for the holidays, but the jet setting precedent was set early and often by many politicians across Canada.

Most, in true Canadian fashion, have said ‘sorry,’ but the apologies ring a bit hollow to those of us without suntans, who made the best of a season at home, separated from family members or friends we would normally see at Christmastime.

These parties and tropical excursions are a slap in the face to everyone who followed the rules or guidelines. As long as this cavalier approach continues, more people will get sick, and some of them will die. So, whether it’s a house in Surrey or the House of Commons, it’s about time to get it in order.


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