The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” may finally be in sight, and with any luck, it won’t be a mirage luring us on, as the provincial government has set Sunday, July 11, as our “Independence Day” of sorts.
Some critics have wasted no time in blasting this move as unwise and premature, pointing to the Delta variant of COVID-19 as one reason not to loosen the grip too soon.
Public health officials have said the key to all of this is getting a majority of residents vaccinated against the virus, and while the goal of 70 per cent of all residents over the age of 12 was set for their first shot, it’s still very close.
Saskatchewan is only a few thousand shy of this mark, and as the premier stated, we will reach that mark within days – so really, it only makes sense to set the date now.
This isn’t to say that it couldn’t be cancelled, as July 11 is far enough away that if a truly dangerous situation arose, like the sudden explosion of this variant, then the government could pull back on the date while they work to deal with the virus.
The key to fighting the virus is still the vaccines, and as we work to get more and more people fully vaccinated (as in, getting both shots done), that’s the major part of the war on the pandemic.
This has been a long, long struggle for everyone, as this unprecedented viral infection has overtaken the world for a year and a half already, disrupting so many lives and hurting the economy in so many ways.
The fine line, or the razor’s edge if you will, has been trying to find that balance between not shutting down life and keeping people safe.
The seesaw battle has not always been a good or fair one, and there have been some unnecessarily harsh conditions put on people that at times did nothing whatsoever to protect anyone.
The hope is we’ve learned from this year and a half of restrictions and rules, and maybe now, finally, we can move on and enjoy life as we should.
The timing of entering summer with freedom couldn’t be better – after all, what better way to bolster one’s physical and mental well-being than some vacation time, and the ability to be with family and friends without worrying about mask-wearing, physical/social distancing and numbers of people in a given area.
None of this has been easy for anyone, and there are sure to be adjustments needed as people have to get used to the idea once more of what it feels like to be free of the blasted mask, or being free to hug a loved one.
For far too long, we’ve been told not to hug or shake hands or be close to our friends – and finally, finally, that can all stop, and we can go back to living our lives. Let’s appreciate the freedom and enjoy it!