Provincial officials here in British Columbia have begun launching the next plans for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the middle of March, we have been under some noticeable restrictions in order to slow the spread of this pandemic. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, and physical distancing of two metres between people is required.
Numerous businesses have had to close their doors entirely or adapt to these restrictions. For the rest of us, the changes have kept us from getting together with friends and relatives, attending concerts and events, or participating in team sports.
It has not been in vain.
For the most part, people have followed the directives and by doing so, have slowed the spread of the virus. The efforts we have made has meant the pandemic here in British Columbia has not affected us as hard as in other parts of the world.
The time has come to ease up on the restrictions.
This week has seen the tap opened on a stream of stories about the reopening, or looming reopening of various services, facilities or public spaces throughout our Island.
And while that news comes with general applause, it is important to remember that this is a process, and the reopening of our community will happen gradually. The changes will happen in phases.
Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s public health officer, has said large gatherings and festivals will not be happening this year.
Even weddings and funerals will be affected. Henry has said organizers will need to look for other ways to hold these events, restricting the number of people who attend in person.
None of this has been easy, and some of the limitations will remain in place for some time to come. But this won’t last forever.
The restrictions will continue to be loosened. They will come to an end. Eventually, COVID-19 will be a footnote in our history.
For now, however, it is our present reality.
And during this time it is important to continue to follow the directives to slow the spread of this pandemic.