The tulips are in bloom in Ottawa – and the government wants people to view them online, not in person. Understandable I guess. Everyone knows you can catch COVID-19 from flowers.
You can’t of course, at least as far as anyone knows. Officials with the National Capital Commission (NCC) are more concerned with large crowds and people neglecting social distancing requirements.
Each May the Tulip Festival draws thousands to the city to see the stunning floral display. Not this year, given that there are no flights, but the concern is local people would come out to see the flowers.
So the NCC put signs up by the flowerbeds. No stopping. And no photography.
I understand. People share pictures. If I see tulips on my friend’s Facebook page, maybe I too would go out in public to experience them first-hand. Officials are trying to convince people to stay inside as much as possible, just look at the flowers online. Mind you, the complete online tour isn’t ready yet.
There was an outcry, and someone came to their senses, so now you can stop to admire the tulips. You can even take pictures. Just use appropriate social distancing.
You have to wonder though if common sense has been completely abandoned during this pandemic. How often have you heard similar, silly stories? Well intentioned people making rules that don’t need to be made. It’s almost a pandemic of its own.
In Germany we have similar rules to those in Canada. Self isolation and social distancing are strongly recommended (and enforced if you don’t follow the recommendations).
However, right from the onset, as the country was hunkering down, politicians were encouraging people to make sure they left home every day to enjoy nature. I guess walking in the Black Forest is an inalienable right.
Could it be that German politicians and bureaucrats have a greater respect for their citizens’ ability to use common sense than their Canadian counterparts? Germany runs on bureaucracy, or so it frequently seems. Logic and common sense aren’t words that first spring to mind. The NCC should feel embarrassed.
The tulips have been blooming in my part of Germany for a couple of months, though I really haven’t paid them much attention. It isn’t like Ottawa with its millions of blooms. Here there are only a few in people’s gardens. I hardly noticed them.
So I’ll share a few photos today from some previous incarnations of the Tulip Festival. Or you can go watch this year’s online.