Canadians are watching with nervousness and trepidation the alarming news coming out of the southern United States, with numbers spiking in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The numbers here (at least, outside of Ontario and Quebec) are very encouraging, as the curve has not only been flattened, but in most provinces, they are declining, both for new cases and for deaths.
This has led to reopening of stores and some activities, although not quite to what they were before March. The Re-Open Saskatchewan plan has now reached Phase 4, both parts 1 and 2, and only Phase 5 remains to come — but no date has been stated yet when that will be brought in.
While some people are anxious for life to get back to some sort of normalcy, others are a little hesitant about reopening, wondering if we too might fall prey to a second wave of COVID-19.
Some hesitancy might not be a bad idea, as we should take any lessons we can from other jurisdictions that are experiencing these difficulties. The spiking numbers of COVID cases are not to be taken lightly, as states like Texas and Florida are now needing to stop their reopening plans and, in some cases, reverse them. Some restaurants and bars, for examples, are closing back down because of what’s happening, and the debate over whether to wear masks is raging on, even in light of thousands of new cases of this disease.
The situation here is quite different, and maybe masks aren’t as big an issue — but the issues of how and whether to gather, how big a group can gather, and whether physical distancing is still important are all still relevant, even as our cases are dropping, and more and more people are recovering.
The question will be, if numbers do pick up again, will we have to go through another lockdown?
Our economy was devastated by a two-month lockdown, with thousands thrown out of work and some businesses shut their doors to never reopen. We can’t sustain another lockdown — it would bring catastrophe upon us even beyond what we’re already going through now.
It is totally in our best interests to pay attention to those practices that helped us control the COVID numbers, and to be careful in how we proceed from this point.
It is in the interests of our children, who need to be back in school this fall, and it is in the best interests of people who need to work and business owners who need to keep their doors open.
It is in all of our best interests to take care, but to also begin to go back out and enjoy life. If we don’t, what is it we’re trying to save? Keep a safe distance, stay healthy and be good to each other this summer!