Things are looking up.
For most of the last 15 months any statement like that had to be hedged about with all kinds of qualifiers. Cases of COVID-19 fell in the summer to drastic lows only to roar back in the winter again, and then once more in the early spring. The spread of variants overwhelmed both our looser restrictions and the speed of our slow-to-start vaccination campaign.
But now, we can say that things actually look positive on multiple fronts.
Case counts in B.C. have been on a steady decline, even as vaccination efforts ramped up steadily.
Anyone aged 12 and older can now register to get vaccinated, and hundreds of thousands of people are already on the waiting lists.
We’re up to a rate of vaccinating almost one per cent of the total population of B.C. per day with their first shot. If we vaccinated every single human being over 12 years of age, we could finish first shots by mid to late June.
We’re going to have to continue being cautious, but other countries that have passed the threshold of more than 50 per cent of the population vaccinated have seen significant drop offs in COVID numbers.
That means we will likely soon see restrictions officially eased. Not lifted fully – while half the population lacks immunity, the opening will be gradual. But it does mean big changes are likely by summer. Family gatherings, first outdoors and then inside. Barbecues and picnics and deferred birthdays are on the near horizon.
It means, eventually, indoor dining in restaurants and pubs again. It means day trips. It means a huge reduction in anxiety for millions of people.
It doesn’t mean things will be back to normal, not right away. This Victoria Day long weekend is still going to be quiet and low-key.
But we’re getting there. We’re very close to being able to safely open up, go out, and do things.
So if you’ve been vaccinated, congratulations, and if you haven’t, sign up. Summer’s looking good.