From The Now:
A year ago today, an unwanted visitor settled into Canada and made itself at home. COVID-19. Not only did this unwanted guest settle in, it immediately started shoving the furniture around. It must be the truth that by now, so I dare say there isn’t anyone in this country that hasn’t had a taste of the COVID reality. For the majority of us, we’ve been required to isolate and to give up freedoms we took for granted; visits with friends, being with loved ones and family at Christmas, or travelling to our sand and sun winter get-aways, going out, but we’re fine, and we’ll get through this.
Nation-wide to date, the virus has infected 752, 269 people, claiming 19,213 lives in just one year; the flu claims approximately 2,000-8,000 annually. In my home province, there have been 121, 545 cases, and 1,574 lives lost due to COVID-19 to date.
Today brought news that the UK Variant has spread to the community in Alberta. It is believed this variant is much better at spreading itself; however (and thankfully) it is also believed the vaccines approved in December also work against it, and I’ll try not to conjure COVID-19 Part II in my nightmares.
I am confident that the next anniversary of COVID’s arrival in Canada will be met somberly, and very differently. The odds favour that we’ll living in a post socially distant reality; life might actually be feeling a lot like normal by then, but for many, they will remember the pain that January 25, 2020 would eventually bring to their lives. By then, many of us will likely already be so caught up in The Boil again that they will already have forgotten the anniversary, just like the masks stashes in the glove compartment of the car.
I don’t intend to, and I will remember. COVID-19 cost all too many far too much to forget the date or the lessons the COVID pandemic taught us, to simply give in and return to numbness.
The new Biden Administration is quickly moving to show leadership in addressing the pandemic that never seemed to be taken seriously by the former administration, even after many members likely became infected in gatherings hosted at the White House itself. Masks are now required to be worn in the federal buildings; there will be three briefings a week with access to the program heads directly, and a revised promise from the President to deliver 150 million vaccinations (up from 100 million) in the first 100 days of the administration. The bar set by your predecessor is so low. Please. Don’t screw this up.
As for local leadership, well, I just hope they haven’t been too distracted by the pipeline permit cancellation and can keep up with more of the kind of direction that has helped push the case numbers back from 1800 into the mid three hundreds per day – near what it was at the peak of Wave One this spring.
It’s so hard to think of that positively.