Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com OPINION

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA — Ontario’s failing COVID strategy is forcing the province back in to lockdown as of midnight Friday.

This as Simcoe-Muskoka cases jumped to 73 today, according to Public Health Ontario, which reports more than 2,557 cases province-wide — up more than 200 since yesterday.

Despite previous best advice of health experts the Ford government’s pro-business and failing vaccine rollout strategy should keep you in your home.

But it won’t if we don’t all act now.

We’re no fools. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not ever.

So much for hope springing eternal.

Doug Ford’s lax restrictions and mixed-messaging a year in to the pandemic are aiding and abetting COVID.

Clearly we’ve got a failure to communicate with a marketing strategy that isn’t working.

People don’t believe the government.

Vaccinations are not reaching highest-risk people, say most experts outside of government.

Best intentions clearly aren’t meeting Ford’s best efforts.

And goodbye “general Rick Hillier.”

So, is this too little, too late?

We’ll see.

Ask the families of 23 people who died since yesterday.

And those who will today mourn the loss of more loved ones.

It’s cold comfort that the same day as the lockdown the province announces 350 pharmacies will begin offering AstraZeneca for those aged 55 and older — at some locations as early as Saturday.

Streets should return to limited use in April as Ontario tries again to curb COVID-19 with a mostly province-wide lockdown as cases keep going up.

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