Opinion

We all learn from our own mistakes, but sometimes the best lessons come from the mishaps of others.

We all learn from our own mistakes, but sometimes the best lessons come from the mishaps of others.

The latest teaching point comes from Michael Hutchinson, one of the hosts of CTV Morning Live. He admitted on air Monday that he broke the province’s pandemic regulations last weekend. He had visited some friends, he said, and on Tuesday he apologized to viewers, front-line workers and his colleagues for doing so.

Bell Media, which owns CTV, had to issue a statement later that day, expressing its disappointment in Hutchinson’s actions, on air and off, and that CTV News Winnipeg takes provincial public health orders seriously.

CTV morning host apologizes for visit violation

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CTV Morning Live Winnipeg host Michael Hutchinson apologizes.						</p>
CTV Morning Live Winnipeg host Michael Hutchinson apologizes.

Posted: 7:04 AM May. 11, 2021

A co-host of CTV Morning Live Winnipeg has apologized to viewers for opening Monday’s show by saying he “broke the law a little bit” by violating pandemic restrictions this weekend.

This morning’s co-hosts, Nicole Dubé and Katherine Dow, did not speak about Michael Hutchinson’s statement — made via Skype — before or after it was shown Tuesday.

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He made his mea culpa on the show via Skype from home, where he is spending the next two weeks in isolation to ensure the health and safety of his co-workers.

His live utterances on Monday brought scorn from social media, with some demanding he be fired for his remarks and his deeds.

Hutchinson acted unwisely, sure, but making him a scapegoat does nothing to lower the province’s COVID-19 numbers from the frightening levels they have risen to during the pandemic’s third wave.

He’s no modern Typhoid Mary, solely responsible for the 329 new positive cases reported by the province on Tuesday. There are many other Manitobans like Hutchinson who have either unwittingly or brazenly broken the provincial pandemic regulations in the past 14 months.

He’s just the only one who has blurted it out on live TV.

There are many others who have also visited friends and relatives in the last few weeks and kept it a secret. Everyone remembers the first rule of Fight Club, right?

But some don’t care and have gone on social media showing off photographs and video of what are clearly gatherings, thumbing their noses at the regulations and those who have sacrificed to follow them.

His live utterances on Monday brought scorn from social media, with some demanding he be fired for his remarks and his deeds.

Others have grown weary of the pandemic and have let their guard down, forgetting a knockout can happen in the later rounds as easily as the first.

The premature hope created by the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines hasn’t helped either. While there is cause to celebrate — following provincial regulations, of course — the big picture dulls the glow of an individual’s inoculation.

About 500,000 Manitobans who have received at least one dose of two-shot COVID-19 vaccines but there are only about 75,000 who have been fully vaccinated with both shots of a vaccine.

The dose of reality is that there are about 1.4 million Manitobans. While more people are eligible for shots every day, the road to immunity remains a long one, with COVID-19’s variants preying on the vulnerable along every mile of the journey.

Michael Hutchinson

Michael Hutchinson

Then there are those who openly flout the law by demonstrating against the provincial regulations. They say they have the right to gather in the numbers they wish and to not wear masks, brushing off the regulations that so many have followed as pandemic theatre.

They offer vitriol instead of apologies and take their case, and their cause, to court.

All of these folks risk being fined by the province’s pandemic enforcement officers.

Premier Brian Pallister announced May 7 that the cost of repeatedly breaking the pandemic regulations will double, meaning individuals who have received two or more tickets for failing to wear a mask indoors in a public place risk a $596 fine and individuals who receive two or more tickets for failing to comply with regulations on gatherings face a $2,592 fine.

The ultimate cost is someone’s life, a number that is closing in on 1,000 in Manitoba.

It’s a hard-earned lesson we all need to hear, especially on live television.

 

alan.small@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter:@AlanDSmall

Alan Small

Alan Small
Reporter

Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.

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