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Premier to party people: “What is wrong with you?”

Iain Rankin says he’s fed up with COVID rule-breakers.

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In Halifax over the weekend, 37 tickets were issued to people breaking COVID-19 restrictions. “There are people who are still not listening,” premier Iain Rankin said on Monday, at a COVID press conference with public health doc Robert Strang.

And while these could have been given out at the anti-COVID protest on Citadel Hill, or at a gathering of wealthy, half-vaccinated baby boomers in the south end, Rankin had words for one group in particular.

“I’d like to ask a favour of all of you, especially young people—and I know you like your phones a lot,” he said. “I would suggest that you go online and do a little research about what that variant is doing across the country.”

There were 22 people ticketed for gathering violations at a house party on Jubilee Road last month; since then, the premier’s vitriol has primarily been directed towards the youth of the province, with a sprinkling of anti-Ontario hate on the side.

“I wanted to thank everyone for following the protocols but there are still groups of people who aren’t,” he said Monday. “I have a serious question: What is wrong with you? How come you don’t take this as serious as you should?”

With almost 1,000 active cases in the province, the premier is understandably fed up, exhausted and feeling like a broken record. “What part of that pattern of spread do you not understand?” he said. “The only answer that I can come up with is that you don’t care.”

Strang’s approach was the same, but different. “I do know that the majority of Nova Scotians are doing the right thing,” he said Monday at the briefing. “But we need everybody to do that.”

Strang says there have been cases of people who got one dose of the vaccine and went out to celebrate, then got COVID—because it takes up to two weeks after getting a vaccine to build immunity. And whether or not you’re vaccinated, the majority of the population won’t be until June, so he wants Nova Scotians to keep socializing to a minimum, wear masks and get frequent tests until then.

“There is no gathering limit. It’s not five people, it’s not 10 people,” Strang said. “If you’re not with your household, the gathering limit is zero.”

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