So we are only days away from the restrictions placed to help curb the spread of COVID-19 come off in Saskatchewan.
Certainly the numbers in terms of new daily cases have been far smaller of late, with only 21 reported July 2 and 20 on July 5.
Sadly however, there are still those succumbing to COVID-19 with the death toll in Saskatchewan edging toward 575 – it sits at 568 as of July 5. To put that in some perspective, that is more than the entire community of Springside lost to the pandemic.
Across Canada the deaths have surpassed 26,000.
It has been a difficult 16 or so months to say the least. We have had to change the way we have done many things in the fight with the pandemic, and it hasn’t always been easy, especially as some have been against mask wearing, or getting the vaccine.
But we seem to have it under control at present and you can certainly sense that people want to return to normal for summer. There is a pent up energy that is near palatable that many among us just want to get out and do things with the friends, families and neighbours.
So when events such as chuckwagon and chariot races happen in the city, or mud flings in Theodore, or fairs in Kelvington, Invermay and Preeceville take place this summer this is a definite likelihood they will be well attended because people just want to get out and do something.
It will be good to get back to a level of normalcy, but we should also remember normal is a state which is always in flux. It changes as time passes.
And there are perhaps some good lessons we should have learned through this pandemic that we might not want to forget or abandon just because the province says it’s over.
For example, is pumping fists or elbows perhaps better than the tradition of shaking hands?
Shaking hands has long been a way of saying hello, or sealing a deal, but is it the least sanitary action?
Have you ever been in a public washroom, at a sports event or even a restaurant, and noticed how many people leave without having washed their hands? Do we really want to shake their hands after?
And the plexiglass shields which now protect people working tills seems like an idea that should have been thought of long before COVID-19. There are sneeze guards in place at restaurant buffets to protect the food from being doused in spit. Affording some protection for staff not to be breathed on, coughed at and showered by sneezes just seems to be rather common sense.
Even the dreaded mask might not want to be totally forgotten. Is it a bad idea to wear a mask when headed to a doctor’s office or emergency ward where you know those with bad colds and flus are congregating?
And, if you are feeling sick, but have to go out for a prescription, or to buy groceries would donning a mask not be a good thing to do to protect others from getting what is making you feel sore, tired and achy?
It does seem as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic normal should mean working a bit more to keep the community healthy.