On Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Montreal Canadiens at the Scotiabank Arena in Game 7 of their opening round playoff series (spoiler alert: the game ended in traditional Hogtown fashion: the Leafs lost — and lost badly).
But more fascinating than what was happening down on the ice was what was occurring up in the stands.
Namely, Premier Triple-F (Flip-Flop Ford) — who was vehement that the Scotiabank Arena would remain devoid of fans for safety reasons — did another 180-degree policy turn on Sunday night by stating that 550 people would indeed be allowed into the stands.
Evidently, the science pertaining to the Wuhan virus had changed in the space of some 21 hours…
But there was a catch, alas: all 550 people gaining admission to Toronto’s Factory of Sadness were healthcare and long-term care workers. And all of them had to be completely vaccinated. So, in other words, if you didn’t get the jabs, you wouldn’t get to see the Habs…
So, the question arises: is this going to be the way of the near future? If one wants to attend a sports event or a rock concert or get on a bus or hop on a plane, proof of vaccination will be mandatory?
And then there was the puzzling issue of attendance. After all, last Saturday, 2,500 fans were allowed into Montreal’s Bell Centre to see Game 6. That same night, the Boston Bruins packed some 17,400 fans into their arena; but in Toronto, attendance was limited to 550.
Isn’t it fascinating how the “science” pertaining to COVID-19 vis-à-vis arena capacity changes from region to region?
And so much for those authorities who had previously proclaimed that the idea of a vaccine passport was conspiracy theory fodder. Because that is exactly what played out in Toronto on Monday night — a perverse form of a classist system in which only the fully inoculated were allowed into the Scotiabank Arena. (Oh, and, surely the senior executives of Rogers and Bell were there, too.
These companies are the majority owners of the Leafs — and of numerous mainstream media outlets that have been admonishing the populace to stay home since the pandemic began.)
As for the great unwashed and unvaccinated masses in Toronto who want to continue watching hockey games when the 2021-2022 season kicks off?
Well, they may simply have to remain at home watching the games on TV — via services provided by Rogers and Bell (for a considerable fee, of course). Hey, money always finds its way home, after all...
So, in the meantime, sports fans — how are you digging the “new normal” so far?