We’re getting closer to having some of the good times roll again amid COVID-19, but there are still people trying to throw a wrench in things.
On Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry hinted about a post-pandemic summer as vaccines ramp up.
“Maybe I’m too optimistic, but we’re going to be in our post-pandemic world by the summer if things continue to go the way that we want them to,” Henry said during a COVID-19 briefing. “I think, by the summer, we are going to be able to be doing a lot more of those connections that we need that are going to help us get through the trauma we have all experienced together.”
The problem is that too many people are still not following health protocols like social distancing and wearing masks in indoor public spaces. It's mandatory on transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz captured a duo without masks on SkyTrain in Burnaby the other day and posted it on his Twitter account. I feel like I’m going insane watching people get on a SkyTrain without a mask. I mean, even if you don’t care about others, why wouldn’t you protect yourself?
Then, when Dela Cruz got off the SkyTrain and onto a bus, he ran into someone else flouting the rules.
“I randomly get the urge to look behind me and notice the woman right behind me isn’t covering up her face with her mask,” he said. “In fact it’s sitting on her chin. Yo, I do not appreciate you breathing on my neck and hair with no mask on.
“She has also (again doing exactly what BC PHO has long told everyone NOT to do) repeatedly touched her nose with her hands (it's like she has the sniffles?) so IDK if there's any use in warning her at this point.”
These folks could easily derail any progress that’s made. Cases are still staying high, but the hope is that they could start dropping.
Henry said expected shipments of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine — 60,000 doses are scheduled to arrive next week — and the promise of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, now under review, will move up the timeline to ensure everyone who wants one gets a first dose by early summer, rather than September.
Next week’s shipment of AstraZeneca doses will be targeted to areas where there are clusters and outbreaks of COVID-19.
The province reported 564 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including 35 new cases in the Island Health region. Henry said B.C. is seeing an uptick in cases and a rise in the transmission of variants that needs to be monitored closely. There are now 4,743 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C. Of those, 248 are in hospital, including 63 in critical care.
“We can’t let the successes of these great vaccines that we have now be diminished by a surge in cases that will lead us to a third wave,” said Henry.
So let’s smarten up so summer is better than what we saw in 2020.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.