Let’s share the benefits that Haliburton has to offer

Published May 19 2020

To the Editor

As a cottage property owner I was happy to read the message from Mayor Andrea Roberts in last week’s Echo .
It should be clarified that there are primarily two types of property owners. One group typically comes to the cottage for weekends and occasionally stays for a two-week duration. Let’s call this group the cottagers.  The other group comes to the cottage and generally stays for whole summer or cottage season. Let’s call them seasonal residents.

I agree that the cottagers can pose a health problem since they come from somewhere where the virus is prevalent and can pose an infection problem to local residents and an overload problem to the Haliburton hospital – unless they return home if sick.
However what problem does the seasonal resident pose if they come to Haliburton and self-isolate for two weeks in their cottage? After that isolation aren’t they similar to the local residents who take a winter vacation in a warmer climate and then return and self-isolate for two weeks? Both should be virus free and pose no problem to local residents and the hospital. Shouldn’t they be welcome to participate in shopping and contributing to the community as in the past?

It’s no secret that Haliburton County depends on cottagers for its financial survival. Instead of looking at seasonal residents as “citiots” or “them” (unlike “we” locals) why not consider them as “us” (at least for the summer) and agree to share all the benefits that Haliburton has to offer – which are many. Isn’t that a win-win situation.

Yes some will question how to distinguish cottagers from seasonal residents. But as long as members of both groups wear masks when in town does it really matter? I would also argue that it is wise and safer for everyone (both customers and business workers) to wear a mask when in town – thereby greatly reducing the possibility of community spread.
Life will not revert back to “normal” until an effective vaccine is readily available – hopefully by early next year. So until then let’s cooperate while waiting for the vaccine and enjoy the temporary “new normal.”

Dennis Choptiany
Koshlong Lake (seasonal resident)