Calgary

Warm weather draws Calgarians outside, testing collective resolve to maintain physical distancing

Warm temperatures drove lots of Calgarians outdoors on the weekend, leading some people to worry that physical distancing guidelines were being left by the wayside.

A breakdown in distancing could lead to more restrictions

Crowded public pathways made it hard at times to maintain social distancing in Calgary on the weekend as some long-awaited spring weather arrived. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Warm temperatures drove lots of Calgarians outdoors on the weekend, leading some people to worry that physical distancing guidelines were being left by the wayside.
     
One sociologist says if the distancing guidelines are not taken more seriously, we should be prepared to lose more freedom in the future. 

Vehicle access to Fish Creek Provincial Park in south Calgary is blocked off, but that didn't stop a steady flow of people venturing in on foot and bicycles.
             
Annik Delaney, who's on the condo board of her Canyon Creek complex on Elbow Drive, called bylaw officials and police when she saw the crowds going by. 

"We're trying to stay safe and stay in our neighbourhood and yes it's a lovely neighbourhood but I just wish they would walk their own neighbourhoods like they've been told to do," she said. 

On Friday, CEMA chief Tom Sampson reminded Calgarians not to let the upcoming warm days get in the way of physical distancing guidelines. 
     
Yet, on Sunday, city pathways and trails were bustling with people.
     
Caroline McDonald-Harker, a sociologist at Mount Royal University, says research shows in traumatic and difficult situations, people do come together and collaborate.
     
"So, I'm hoping that people remain steadfast and despite the beautiful weather continue to follow the regulations and not force our authorities to sort of monitor our behaviour and implement surveillance tools," she said.

There are currently 2,803 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province with 71 per cent of them in the Calgary zone. 

With files from Terri Trembath

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