OPINION: Enjoy yourselves, but maintain vigilance amid COVID-19 pandemic

OPINION: Enjoy yourselves, but maintain vigilance amid COVID-19 pandemic

It is definitely a message that bears repeating: stay vigilant and stay safe.

We are beyond fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. On sunny, summer days, we want to be out, enjoying the majesty that is Vancouver Island.

We get that. We support that.

However, we also happen to be in the middle of a pandemic, which means we must continue to be careful, perhaps even more than we have been to this point.

Things are opening up again. We can finally go out to eat, do some shopping, walk around, expand our ‘bubbles’ and hang out with friends.

All terrific. But in order to continue to maintain that sense of normalcy, vigilance is required.

At the time of this editorial being written (prior to the Monday, July 27 briefing), Island Health has had 142 cases of the novel coronavirus and 127 recoveries. Five people have died from the virus in the region.

A recent warning from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that the province is at risk of “explosive growth.”

Anytime the words ‘explosive growth’ are bandied about by our most trusted medical officials, we must surely stand up and take notice. Henry called the number of new cases amongst young people “concerning.”

There was a noticeable increase in mask-wearers at Driftwood Mall over the weekend, which may indicate Dr. Henry’s message is being heard in our community.

We see numbers around the world, especially from our neighbours directly to the south, and they’re not nearly as encouraging.

On a daily basis, we’re shown what not to do. So let’s not do it.

The standard protocols should remain in place, with handwashing, physical distancing and masks if you’re going to be repeatedly in close proximity to others, especially indoors.

Here on Vancouver Island, we’ve generally done a better job than most at dealing with COVID-19.

Let’s not loosen the reins just yet. Vigilance now will pay off down the road.

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