As the disaster known as the year 2020 drags on, and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to never end, people are generally getting tired of it all, with the constant barrage of updates every day focussed on how the virus has taken hold of every aspect of life.
Thus it’s completely understandable that there’s some excitement in the air as word of viable vaccines come forward from a number of sources around the world.
There are dates being set for when the vaccine will be available and will start to be administered — unless, of course, you happen to be Canadian. If you’re a Brit, or an American, you’ll be in line for an innoculation far, far sooner than if you’re a Canuck.
The Opposition, and many Canadians, have been begging for a sign of hope, any sign at all, and the prime minister finally announced that a few drops will sneak into Canada next week so a few thousand people will get the first shots.
As was pointed out in the House of Commons, there are over two million residents who are over 80 years of age (as just one of the groups needing the vaccines first) and are thus among the most vulnerable. They are most in need of the vaccine, so the few thousand shots to arrive is barely a drop in the bucket of what’s really needed.
And, while this early shipment is coming from Pfizer’s plant in Belgium, there are no dates for when larger shipments are going to come.
A cautionary note should be sounded about the coming vaccine rollout — it’s sort of a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel, but realistically it’s not going to be the end of this pandemic.
One British official actually stated that the vaccines are the “beginning of the end of the pandemic”. The vaccines will help people not get so sick from it, but it is not going to end the coronavirus.
What it will do is help us sort of get back to some semblance of a “normal” life (whatever that is anymore), and help us to live with it.
Have the yearly influenza vaccines put an end to flu season? No it hasn’t, because there is no way to be rid of the virus. The coronavirus will also be ever with us, and we need to learn to live with it without destroying lives, businesses and our mental health.
The vaccines will help us to do that, and you may be sure the “anti-vaxxers” will protest the availability of the vaccine shots. The issue may arise where, at least to begin with, the vaccine should be very strongly supported by the population, or it may never be a controllable virus.
We need a glimmer of hope as we come to the end of 2020, and the vaccines provide that to a degree. Let’s hope the government is able to figure out just how and when we can receive this “shot in the arm”.