TikTok | @vanecara17

Niagara Falls Boat Tours Highlight Difference In Canadian And US Virus Approach

Although it has spent most of this year as a virtual ghost town, Niagara Falls has emerged from the coronavirus outbreak as a symbol of the dramatic difference between America and Canada's handling of the pandemic.

As TODAY reported, now that the tourist hot spot bordering these two nations has reopened to the public, it is being singled out for its shocking portrayal of America's less-than-stellar virus approach, as shown through the Maid of the Mist boat tours.

In case you've never visited Niagara Falls yourself before, the Maid of the Mist boat ride has always been hailed as a "must try" for tourists.

Unsplash | Olivier Guillard

Packed tightly together in matching blue rain ponchos on the deck of the long water vessel, visitors to either the American or Canadian side can travel about as close to the falls as safely and as humanly possible, and snap as many Instagram pictures of themselves next to raging currents.

It's definitely something you don't want to miss out on, if you're ever given the chance. But a trip on the Maid might be best saved for a post-pandemic world, especially if you're from America.

On the Canadian side of things, the sight-seeing boat ride has been adjusted to conform to the country's social distancing measures.

TikTok | @vanecara17

Although the vessel itself has the capacity to hold 700 passengers, only six people are allowed to ride together at a time, allowing for ample deck space so riders can stay 6-feet apart while still enjoying the sights and sounds of the falls.

Unsurprisingly, with measures like these in place, Canada has largely been able to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As of writing, the country has reported 111,697 positive cases of the virus and 8,862 deaths.

But on the American side, things definitely look a little different and much less safe.

TikTok | @vanecara17

According to the Maid of the Mist website, the U.S. vessel is currently operating at 50% capacity, allowing for some 350 guests to journey below the falls together.

While it also states there are markers in place to ensure guests onboard remain at least 6 feet apart from each other at all times, photos of packed boat rides, such as the one seen above, appear to prove those markers aren't really working at all.

The state of New York, which boasts the American side of the falls, also boasts a huge chunk of the country's COVID-19 cases.

As of writing, out of America's nearly 4 million positive cases and 144,000 deaths, NY accounts for more than 400,000 of those cases and 32,000 deaths.

But despite this, the state has actually already entered into its fourth and final phase of reopening.

The startling contrast between the Canadian and American tours certainly isn't lost on those who witnessed the boats' capacities for themselves on land.

“We actually took a picture of the [American] boat,” Julie Pronovost, a tourist from Quebec, told TODAY. “I don’t find that it’s very safe to be on a boat like that. It’s much better here.”

Amanda Barnes from Ontario echoed this when she stated, “I’m glad I’m in Canada. You can see why the pandemic is raging in the United States and not in Canada when you look at the difference between the boats.”

h/t: TODAY, TikTok | @vanecara17