Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths, center, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 131st celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Phil's handlers said that the groundhog has forecast six more weeks of winter weather. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Opinion: An early spring couldn’t be more welcome after this pandemic winter

A little sunshine can’t come soon enough — literally, or metaphorically

Our famous future-predicting rodents have called it: An early spring for 2021.

Last year was filled with surprises, and it seems 2021 might have a few more.

While the groundhogs may have missed their shadows, the superstitious sign of an early spring, winter never really hit Vancouver Island too hard — at least, not so far.

Yes, there has been enough snow to open the ski hill, but not so much where most of us live, and the debate on whether the lake is frozen enough for skating never really happened.

RELATED: Canada’s weather-predicting groundhogs call for early spring

QUIZ: Do you know these Groundhog Day facts?

And now we might be hearing the singsong of birds a bit early this year. Instead of skis and skates, we can start planning our gardens and think about getting our boats summer ready.

But, the call for an early spring also seems quite symbolic for where we are in this pandemic.

The groundhogs have been cooped up inside, under ground in their little holes, awaiting the day they can finally come out and get some fresh air and some sun.

On Tuesday morning, groundhogs across Canada emerged from their dens and, apparenly, failed to see their shadows.

Much like these den dwellers, we’ve been sitting inside, aching for something to do, while respecting the public health orders that have been in place since early December (well, most of us).

It’s too warm for winter activities and too cold for summer ones. Gathering restrictions have cancelled numerous outdoor events. Chances are, many of us won’t be spending Valentine’s Day on a dinner date for two, or taking part in traditional Family Day activities.

As the days get warmer, and longer, the threat of COVID-19 might subside, much like last summer. And vaccines have arrived.

Still, it’s hard to say right now how that will effect public health orders and restrictions the province will put in place — or relax.

Either way, as this pandemic fatigue continues to wear us down, and our crave to be outside and social grows as we get closer to spring, we must remember to keep vigilant.

We wouldn’t want to put our hard work to waste.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Just Posted

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Expanding social circles fuelling North Island COVID-19 spike

Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

Stephen Nutt, left, and mom Julia Mewhort. (Submitted photo)
Mom worries about treatment delays after son’s drug death in Parksville

Stephen Nutt died from fentanyl laced with methamphetamine and heroin while in supportive housing

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
Motorist sentenced to two years for dangerous driving causing death on Gabriola Island

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Stock photo
COVID-19 cases reported at Nanaimo’s Mountain View, Aspengrove schools

Public and independent schools report exposures of virus Feb. 16, Feb. 18-19 respectively

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read