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Last week, in our article “NOVA SCOTIA: FREEDOM RALLIES FORBIDDEN,” we reported on what was then just the latest incident of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s COVID Cops running roughshod over free speech and free assembly in the name of “health and safety.”
Nothing New for NS
To date, the province, with a population of just under 980,000, has recorded 74 deaths from COVID-19; a fatality rate of under 0.008 percent. That’s roughly equivalent to the country’s yearly death toll from auto accidents, except that the COVID-19 deaths are heavily weighted toward older generations. According to the Canadian government, 87 percent of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 victims were over 70 years of age, and 67 percent were over 80.
Restrictions Extended
Despite these facts, as schools and businesses are re-opening and restrictions are lifted or relaxed elsewhere, comes word that Nova Scotia’s public health restrictions, which were set to expire 20 May, have been extended until at least mid-June. This was announced in last Wednesday’s news release from Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s “chief medical officer of health.”
School is Out; So is Culture & Church
Public and private schools will remain closed, as well as museums, public libraries, and art galleries. All arts and cultural events, festivals, sports events (recreational, professional, and amateur), and even wedding and funeral receptions and visitations are on the list of activities “not permitted.”
All faith gatherings are similarly banned.
Out of Business
In addition, businesses offering indoor recreation facilities, like gyms, pools, tennis courts, and yoga classes are ordered to close; the same applies to music lessons and dance classes. Personal service businesses like barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons must close. Restaurants, bars, and casinos are also ordered closed or subject to severe restrictions.
There are no enforced capacity rules, however, for the Bigs “essential” big box stores. But for small “essentials” to remain open, they must operate at no more than 25-percent capacity.
Facilities providing care and rehabilitation for adults with disabilities, both residential and daycare, must close or are subject to severe restrictions. Residents are not permitted to leave such facilities, and visitors will be limited.
Not Much to Celebrate
As reported by, these restrictions will greatly impact the way Nova Scotians observe the long Victoria Day weekend, traditionally seen across Canada as the unofficial kick-off to summer. Victoria Day falls on the last Monday before 25 May; this year it will be 24 May. 
Nova Scotians are under orders to not gather in groups, even outdoors. Dr. Strang has declared:
“You can have a neighbour or a close friend, just one, come over to have a chat on your deck or in your yard, but you must stay physically distanced at all times, stay outside and practice all other public health measures.” 
Don’t worry about anyone getting off too easy for failure to comply with these edicts, as The Health and Protection Act provides for substantial fines for violations. For example, each person at a large gathering can be fined $2,000; the fines for businesses are even higher.
On Sunday, Nova Scotia’s COVID Cops handed out $21,978 worth of fines to people attending a house party in Cole Harbour… with more to follow for partygoers who had escaped before the COVID Cops could fine them. 
TRENDPOST: These draconian rules prohibiting people to gather outside are anathema to scientific data. As we have noted, and even The New York Times reports, based on studies in Singapore, Ireland, and China, the odds of contracting COVID-19 outdoors are minuscule.
David Leonhardt of the NYT characterizes the CDC’s “benchmark” outdoor transmission rate of 10 percent as “a huge exaggeration.” He quotes Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania on the topic: “I’m sure it’s possible for transmission to occur outdoors in the right circumstances, but if we had to put a number on it, I would say much less than 1 percent.”
TRENDPOST: On 21 May, two days after it was announced that the restrictions would be extended, Dr. Strang advised the public that two more COVID-related deaths had occurred in the province, bringing the tally since the pandemic began to a whopping 76 (out of a population of close to one million!).
The province’s public health honcho cited those two additional deaths as further proof that Nova Scotians need to “remain vigilant” and that his draconian rules and the vigorous enforcement thereof are still entirely justified and appropriate. 
We have already pointed out that the COVID-19 fatality rate in Nova Scotia is roughly comparable to the province’s fatality rate for auto accidents. 
Let us now add that the COVID-19 fatality rate is significantly lower than the province’s rate for the top ten leading causes of death listed by Statistics Canada. This observation is meant to put the risk of death from COVID-19 into further perspective. But a sense of perspective is something Nova Scotia’s public health authorities clearly seem to lack.

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