Friday afternoon, the Ontario government jolted its citizens with an ear-piercing emergency alert to their mobile phones, warning that travellers returning to the province are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days. The alert also advised all Ontarians to self-isolate.
Despite this sound advice, reactions were mixed and shared widely across social media.
On Twitter, lots of folks thought it was a great use of the “Amber Alert” system. (Except it wasn’t. It was an emergency alert, which a lot of people quickly pointed out with surprising passion)
Great work Ontario government issuing an amber alert on Covid 19 and especially for recent travellers returning to Canada that are mandated to self isolate. https://t.co/0CyRJVBnMN— Still Cranky (@StephenColley18) March 27, 2020
Meanwhile other Ontarians questioned why it wasn’t used earlier on in the Coronavirus outbreak to help nip the virus in the bud:
Let me be clear. I am totally okay with the Amber Alert notifications. But this kind of alert would've been great about 3 weeks ago. Sending it now just seems completely unnecessary.— Aaron Reid (@aaronjreid) March 28, 2020
Good leveraging of the Amber Alert system, but I wish this kind of message had been sent weeks ago when families were coming home after Spring/March break. Regardless, better late than never! pic.twitter.com/M1xeIXRV25— Rishi Bansal (@rishibansal_) March 27, 2020
Some thoughtfully, decided to post pictures of the alert itself on their Instagram accounts, in case others missed the provincial government’s warning the first time around.
Still, others seem to think they’re the only ones who got the emergency alert, and are now benevolently sharing the news with the rest of humanity.
I just got an Ontario "Amber Alert" on my cell phone and television;— 🇨🇦L-J 🇨🇦 (@LauraJeanDawe) March 27, 2020
CIVIL EMERGENCY ALERT.
All people returning to Canada must be quarantined period, failure to do so results in a $750k fine and/or prison.
In Canada, we DO NOT FOOL AROUND!!!
And, finally, this individual wants everyone to know that the alert totally ruined his beauty sleep.
Ontario: please amber alert us every night, hourly from 1 am to 5 am, until everyone is too tired to even attempt to leave the house. Carpetbomb this province with annoying midnight noises to enforce wellness! pic.twitter.com/FE2v3C7rFZ— matt b (@tederick) March 27, 2020