We are never going back to ‘normal’

I took a quick look down the Platzl the other day and what did I see?

People, lots of people, chatting, enjoying the summer weather (finally), eating outdoors.

What did I not see? Masks. I had a hard look. Not one single mask.

I drove through the parking lot of a big box store in Cranbrook. So many people. One mask that I could see.

We are letting our guard down when it comes to the virus, not just in Kimberley and Cranbrook, but everywhere.

And it is showing in the numbers of cases steadily creeping up. It is natural. We’ve heard what a good job B.C. has done in flattening the curve, we’re feeling pretty safe. With warm weather finally here, more and more of us are outside. But we are not being near as careful as we were a few months ago.

Since the beginning of the month, WorkSafeBC has issued more than 300 orders to workplaces not following COVID-19 protocols.

Of those, 104 were in the services sector (includes salons and restaurants), 82 were in manufacturing, 65 were in trade (this includes grocery stores), 60 were in construction, 18 were in the primary resource sector, three were in the public sector, and two were in transportation and warehousing.

And the association that represents food services and restaurants in B.C. is also asking members to adhere to the regulations.

If the industry is to survive, says its president and CEO Ian Torstenson, restaurants need to follow best practices.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is announcing a tightening of regulations for the restaurant sector, including minimizing table hopping. Torstenson describes it as similar to being on a airplane — you remain in place unless you have to use the facilities.

No table hopping, no pushing tables together to form a bigger group.

Our friends at the Angus Reid Institute have released another poll — not surprising since polling is their business — which finds that if a second wave comes, Canadians are fairly split on the confidence that their communities would go back into lock down.

Fifty percent say that others they are confident, or very confident that their community would follow the same social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding public spaces if they were asked to do it again. But 50 per cent are not that confident or not confident at all that everyone would go back to lockdown status.

Having seen the lack of masks and social distancing here at home, I have to say I am in the slightly less than confident cohort.

We are not in lockdown any more but we are also not following other precautions very well.

We are all tired of everything that trying to keep COVID-19 at bay encompasses, but it’s time to look forward. We can’t keep yearning for things to go back to ‘normal’. We are living the normal now. Until there is a fully effective vaccine — and that may be a long time coming — the only way to control the spread is social distancing, masks and hand washing. It is a part of the way we live now.

Or it should be.


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