Covid update (February/March):|
We are now entering February, and hesitations/delays with vaccines (both receiving and disseminating) are part of the continuing pandemic responses in B.C.
Vancouver Island Health has also experienced a serious rise in cases.
The provincial government extended its request for stay home/only essential travel from January 6 to February 5, and the continuing concerns over new mutated variants, with ease of transmission, have the government extending its suggestions of “keep to one’s bubble“ and only essential travel.
Inter-provincial travel is being discouraged.
The Canada-U.S. border remains closed to all but essential travel. The federal government is also discouraging international flight arrivals, and is requiring covid tests and immediate sequestration for Canadians returning from abroad.
There is covid-fatigue. It is approximately a year since the beginning of the pandemic effects. The severe closures of last March may be reinstated, if cases continue to escalate in B.C.
The province’s chief doctor is asking people to stay home and stay only in small family groups for mid-February’s Family Day holiday weekend. She is also strongly suggesting that people should not plan on any March Break holiday travel.
The promise is that summer may be the time of rule relaxation.
Meantime: hand-washing, social distancing, mask wearing (double masking is now being suggested) requests continue, and masking up is now required in all public spaces. No large gatherings are permitted and significant fines are being levied for those who ignore the rules. Shop local/stay local.
Annual events continue to be cancelled or offered virtually if possible, and meetings remain online. The “new normal” is still evolving.
The closures, encouraged by the provincial government, resulted in an extension of the stay home/only travel if essential/do not celebrate the season with large gatherings/keep contacts to your bubble...extended from December 7 to January 8.
The December seasonal events on Salt Spring were cancelled or moved online, wherever possible. The Villages were quieter and most people did follow the suggested closures.
At the close of December, it was announced that the mutation virus, about 50% more infectious than first outbreak, apparently, and reported in the U.K., had arrived in Canada...and one infected person, arriving on a flight from the U.K., lives in the Vancouver Island Health region. It may be that the January 8 restrictions for B.C. will be extended.
The push to a totally online world continues, as covid’s threat remains with us.
The fear is that the health system will not be able to cope with mass sickness. In making sure beds will be available for those struck with covid, the other serious health risks may be overlooked/put off...with potentially dire consequences.
These are not easy days.
To follow best practices: stay home unless essential to go out, wash hands frequently, wear masks in public spaces, self-quarantine if not feeling well, keep to your immediate group.
Covid fatigue is a real thing.
The vaccines now with us will help to control outbreaks. Some people foresee a lessening of cases by summer. Meantime, the border between Canada-U.S. remains closed to all but essential travel. Inter-provincial contacts are not encouraged, unless for essential travel reasons.
Different days, indeed.