As the North Wellington Community News went press this week, parents were once again preparing for their school age children to transition back to online learning.
It was yet another disappointing development in a year-plus period that has been chock full of them.
Coming on the heels of the provincial government’s latest lockdown/shutdown/callitwhatyouwilljuststayhome order, the school move seems especially frustrating, despite being entirely predictable.
Medical and public health professionals were warning of the onset of a deadly third wave of COVID-19 even as the provincial government began loosening restrictions this spring after a strict – by Ontario standards – winter lockdown that began on Boxing Day.
It was hard to imagine at that time we wouldn’t end up right where we are, but provincial officials, in their continued efforts to balance economic interests with public safety, felt compelled to tinker.
From this corner we have tried to be lenient in criticism of government officials dealing with an unprecedented and constantly changing situation, but it’s hard to not offer admonishment for clear failure to see writing on a wall. That we are sliding backward at this point is failure to learn from experience, anticipate a trend and react accordingly by Premier Doug Ford and his government. That’s unequivocal.
The saving grace, of course, is that vaccines are reaching arms, although the efficacy of the rollout has been legitimately questioned and much of that fairly fell on the federal government for an inability to initially provide an adequate and consistent supply.
Hopefully signs the supply crunch is easing can be seen in media reports of 2.2 million doses of various vaccines that were to arrive in Canada this week.
Reports also indicate that despite production disruptions that slowed vaccine supply in February and early March, Canada had actually received a total of 9.5 million doses, more than the six million originally anticipated by the federal government.
It seems Canada is set to receive at least a million doses of the Pfizer vaccine every week until the end of May, increasing to two million a week in June. That’s on pace for 44 million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines by July 1. The federal government is projecting that every Canadian who wishes to, can be fully vaccinated by the end of September.
That vaccines are the way out of this pandemic is undisputable. That nothing else works permanently is evident in the endless back and forth of lockdowns and ramp ups we’ve been experiencing since the nightmare began. The evidence of vaccine effectiveness can be seen in the impact on Ontario long-term care homes, where more than 1,000 cases were rampaging through the system when residents began receiving vaccinations in mid-December. The figure ran to over 1,600 by mid-January, before the effort could bear measurable results.
As of April 4 there were eight cases among Ontario long-term care residents province-wide – eight!
Vaccinations work and, barring a legitimate (i.e. verified by a medical professional other than Dr. Facebook or Rumour M.D.) health issue, it’s difficult to imagine a reasonable excuse not to get in line.
Submissions are welcome
As always, this week’s North Wellington Community News contains some great content in the form of articles and photographs submitted by our readers. Submissions and news tips are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 1-844-843-5410.