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Easter, Passover in time of COVID-19 focuses on true meaning of essential | Rachel Goldenberg

Thursday, April 09, 2020 @ 11:19 AM | By Rachel Goldenberg


Rachel Goldenberg %>
Rachel Goldenberg
On April 7, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Easter Bunny is an essential service provider and is authorized to deliver Easter chocolate, candy and related treats to the children of Ontario this weekend. The order was careful to stipulate that the Easter Bunny is not allowed to deliver treats in parks, playgrounds or any outdoor recreational amenities, which have been closed down due to social distancing regulations.

This order does not mean that the Ontario government has given us permission to run over to family and friends’ houses to celebrate Easter together. Unfortunately, we are still restrained by the rules of quarantine. Make sure that your celebrations are limited to those that you live with. But don’t let this get you down. We can take this opportunity to use our imagination and stretch our creativity. Perhaps a Zoom Mass? A FaceTime egg hunt? This could be a great time to challenge members of your family to a spirited game of trivia on the Houseparty app, a personal favourite.

This holiday weekend can also be an opportunity for us to all try to find some meaning in this terrible pandemic. This meaning could be different for everyone. For some people, it could be enjoying the amount of quality time spent with family. For others, it could be reconnecting with nature and stepping away from all of the devices that we spend so much time surfing. Some might learn that they are quite self-sufficient and may develop a sense of pride in themselves. Everyone has learned that a lot of office meetings we previous attended could just have been e-mails!

Premier Ford’s order declaring the Easter Bunny as an essential service provider follows the lead of New Zealand, which declared this earlier week that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are considered essential workers in that country.

While the Tooth Fairy has not been deemed an essential service in Ontario yet, it is likely to follow shortly, given the vast amount of chocolate both children and adults will be eating this weekend (the former to eat their Easter egg hunt bounty, the latter to eat their emotions to attempt to quell the stress, boredom, and/or sadness they may be feeling while living in isolation).

The declaration of the Easter Bunny as an essential service provider comes shortly after the term has been further narrowed down from the original definition declared effective March 24, 2020. There has been confusion across the province as to what is, in fact, an essential service. While there is still debate as to what should be considered essential, it is clear from this order that Ontario is trying to bring back a little fun in everyone’s lives and give the children something to look forward to.

I question whether such an order could have been extended to include Elijah the Prophet, which visits Jewish families’ homes on the first two nights of Passover. Perhaps the fact that he can’t be seen makes it a little tricky to declare his services as essential.

The bottom line for everyone in Ontario is: try to enjoy your weekends with your families, whatever holiday you may be celebrating. May we all be healthy and happy and enjoy massive amounts of chocolate.

Rachel Goldenberg is a content lawyer at LexisNexis Canada.

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