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What you need to know about COVID-19: September 30, 2020
For motorists travelling near the Seal Island bridge, there is a reminder of the importance of socially isolating to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, thanks to a local businessman.
Scott MacKenzie decided to use the electronic sign he had leased, not to promote his businesses, but to encourage people to self-isolate and stop the spread of the illness.
He did it as he and his family are in self-isolation, having recently returned from a vacation to the Dominican Republic.
MacKenzie owns Celtic Creek RV Sales and Eco-Home Insulation in Boularderie. The message on the sign is straightforward: Stay Home, Save Lives. The sign has now been up since Saturday.
Before MacKenzie, his wife and their two children headed south, there was talk of the virus but there wasn’t as much in the news. That changed dramatically over the course of their vacation.
“It’s important to try to stop this curve now,” MacKenzie said. “I thought it was a great idea, people coming and going to Sydney, they’re going to see it.”
He noted that now that the province is officially in a state of emergency, people seem to be taking the situation seriously.
With the billboard located near the Seal Island Bridge, it is in a very high-profile location, MacKenzie noted.
He sought some feedback from acquaintances through a social media post and everyone was supportive of the idea, he added.
“I was curious myself, to see what people would think,” MacKenzie said.
While the family was vacationing, their 14-year-old son came down with a cold – the whole family is currently in good health. The resort where they stayed was stringent about precautions to prevent the spread of illness to other guests.
“They were extremely thorough,” MacKenzie said. “You learn more as you go through this, you learn how contagious it is. There’s a lot of elderly people around here, they’re the most vulnerable.”
MacKenzie said he doesn’t expect to realize any benefit from the sign other than presenting an important message at a time when it’s needed to help stop the spread of the virus.
Despite the concerns over COVID-19, MacKenzie said the family had a good trip. Over the course of it, measures taken by staff changed, including being handed food rather than serving yourself and being presented regularly with hand sanitizer.
He added they had anticipated being screened for symptoms at the airport on the trip home but were not.