Schisler: Canada’s vaccine rollout is turning over a new leaf

That doesn’t mean that it’s going to grow as quickly as we might like

My girlfriend loves plants. Between her and her roommate, there are 19 plants in the apartment. Every day this week I’ve woken up to pictures of a new leaf growing out of her Monstera plant.

It’s a big deal.

You see, this particular leaf first sprouted in November. It grew a little at first, then it stalled for months. Now with the arrival of spring, her little Monstera leaf is curling open. Soon enough it’ll be a big broad leaf and I’ll have way too many photos of its growth journey.

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When I feign excitement about a leaf it’s hard not to think about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Health Canada approved the first vaccine — the Pfizer BioNTech shot — on Dec. 9, 2020. The first shots were administered on Dec. 14. On Dec. 23, Health Canada approved the Moderna shot.

Things were looking up — Canada’s new leaf was sprouting!

Just like the Monstera, it grew a little, then stalled. Delays in the shipments of both Moderna and Pfizer hampered Canada’s vaccine effort for most of February. Some days when there was a brisk wind in Ladysmith I could hear Erin O’Toole crying from Ottawa that it was all Justin Trudeau’s fault.

It really made for a bleak winter.

Other nations seemed to enjoy explosive growth in their vaccine efforts. I have an uncle across the pond in Oxford who’s scheduled to get his vaccine in a week, (he’s in his 50s). And my step-father down in Arizona already got his first shot of Moderna, (he’s in his 60s). Meanwhile in Canada, neither of my grandparents cohorts have been called, (they’re in their 70s).

I think back to my girlfriend and her little Monstera leaf — coaxing it to unfurl with gentle affirmations, water, and sunlight. Contrast that with me, looking at Twitter — shouting about Canada’s vaccination campaign, demanding that it speed up so I can see my friends again.

Now spring is here; the weather is warming, the days are getting longer, the cherry blossoms are in bloom, my lady’s beloved Monstera is growing, and Canada’s vaccination program is getting underway.

Both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have joined Canada’s fleet of vaccines. Here on Vancouver Island, 19 clinics have opened up to begin immunizing people against COVID-19.

Officials are saying it’s likely that they can get vaccines out on an expedited schedule. Hope is in the air. Just think, we might get to celebrate Light Up this year.

One year into the pandemic, we’re finally turning over a new leaf. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to grow as quickly as we might like.

But I think I’m going to take a lesson from my girlfriend, and instead of shouting and stressing about Canada’s vaccine program, I’m going to let it take in some sunlight, water, gentle affirmations, and watch it grow.

Cole Schisler writes for Black Press Media from Ladysmith. For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

The little Monstera leaf that could. (Submitted photo)

The little Monstera leaf that could. (Submitted photo)

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