Your own personal belief in vaccines aside, we’ve reached another point in the battle against Covid-19 in this country where the mixed messages being sent by the actions of some provinces compared to the rhetoric being tossed out by the country’s top medical and infectious disease experts is enough to make one’s head spin.
Our next-door neighbours in Manitoba are relaxing some of their restrictions and allowing a number of places to reopen just when the United Kingdom variant, B117, which is believed to be potentially more lethal and can spread up to 50 per cent faster, has been detected in the province.
Newfoundland and Labrador has been hit so hard by the variants that their provincial election was changed to mail-in-voting only this past week and the deadline for mail-in voting extended to March 5.
And, in Alberta, with more than 150 active cases identified and confirmed active cases of the B117 variant, and the South African variant now also confirmed to be on the go in the province, they also decided it was the right time to loosen their restrictions and allow bars and restaurants to reopen as well as workout gyms across the province.
And, as hard as it is to fathom, the nation’s two biggest Covid hotspots, Ontario and Quebec, have also begun rolling back their restrictions in the face of mounting pressure from their business communities.
Meanwhile, health experts are decrying the moves, especially the reopening of bars, restaurants and other indoor shops, warning that such moves right now are akin to playing Russian roulette or a sadistic game of chicken with Covid and opening up for a third wave of the virus that will make the first two look like child’s play in comparison.
People are, once again, getting comfortable with the progress being made and viewing the various vaccines against Covid-19 as being the end-all step to finally ending the Covid nightmare. That simply isn’t the case.
We’re in a position right now where not only are we putting at risk the progress we’ve already made against the virus, but opening ourselves up to a potential third wave that a good many people in this country just may not be able to make it through.
Worries and concerns about the impact on mental health and domestic violence that Covid-19 has had upon the Canadian populace are rising daily, and a third wave worse than the first two combined would have the potential to have a catastrophic effect on many already struggling to reach the light at the other end of the pandemic tunnel in this country.
Look, we get it. Our economies across the nation have taken a big hit, businesses have closed, people have lost their livelihoods and various levels of governments have poured countless millions into defeating this monster.
But what’s done is done and what’s spent has been spent. What possible good are we looking to achieve by gambling with our progress and, possibly, opening the door for this darn virus to do more damage than we’re even able to imagine right now?
And why do we create all these big, impressive titles for people in the fields of public health and infectious diseases, give them oodles of money for the knowledge they’ve absorbed during their careers, and uber-pensions to enjoy their retirements with, when we don’t even heed what they’re saying at the most important of times?
It’s nothing short of mind boggling.
No one likes to see a business close or people lose their jobs, but, once Covid is defeated, the businesses will return, or others will replace them, and the job market will expand once again.
It’s called capitalism or free enterprise and we’ve all banked our futures on them to some extent.
To have come so far and risk it all rather than staying cautious and monitoring events for a few more weeks simply doesn’t make any sense.
There’s no doubt many are smiling where the restrictions are being eased. Let’s just hope there’s not a variant of this virus smiling even more broadly behind them, licking its lips over the arrogance of today’s society.