Commentary – Any glimmer of hope?

Richard Froese

Weather is getting warmer and brighter and the hours of daylight are getting longer.

Soon, people will start to mow their lawns and farmers will be out working in their fields.

After a long winter with lots of snow, people are waiting to get out more. Spring is a time for change, fresh starts and new life.

The biggest change people are waiting for now is the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. People want to get out of their homes after being penned up since mid-March when the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization [WHO].

The pandemic proves that each of us was not created to be isolated, separated from our family and friends. People were created to live in community.

Community events are cancelled as public gatherings of more than 15 people are not permitted.

Everyone wants more freedom to move around, not confined in their homes.

How close are we to getting more freedom to move around and gather with family and friends and in larger numbers? Chief medical officers of health in Alberta and British Columbia said on April 17 they may start to consider taking steps to lift some of the restrictions in late May.

Social distancing and sanitizing are the main restrictions to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19. People are required to stay at least six feet away from other people.

Will we soon be able to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel; a glimmer of hope?

A gradual end to the restrictions is the best way to transition back to a new normal way of life from this pandemic.

Seniors with underlying health issues are the most at-risk for COVID-19. Cases of COVID-19 are most prominent at seniors’ long-term care facilities. That’s where measures have increased the most in the past two weeks and restrictions will and should be focused there for the next few months to contain and control the virus.

When the time is right and the risks are lower and controlled, health authorities will start to reduce restrictions that have become emotionally difficult for many people.

Let’s hope by July, we’re allowed to start to do some of the things we did before the pandemic started.

Most people are starting to feel the loss of close social interactions with others outside their home.

Perhaps in the next few months, we will start to see social distancing reduced to three feet from six feet and gatherings allowed for 70-100 people.

What people want most is to be allowed to get out of the house and be closer with their friends and family who they haven’t been with since restrictions started around March 17.

They want to gather with friends in small groups; they want to get back with their organizations, church, schools and other cultural groups.

People laid off want to get back to work. Businesses closed or restricted in their services and hours want to get back to regular business.

Everyone still needs to protect themselves and others, play it safe and be patient.

It’s pretty safe to say that people need to admit that major summer events that attract over 1,000 people in one place at the same time are probably not going to be held in 2020, unless everyone follows the restrictions and keeps their distance.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Or we’ll be back to the same harsh restriction for a few more months.

Stay safe and stay positive.

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