The mixed messages in regard to COVID vaccines and restrictions are continuing, but there is a slight difference from a year ago at this time.
The messages from leaders continues to be to just get the first vaccine offered to you, even though they themselves don’t seem to fully trust the AstraZeneca vaccine, which many thousands of people in Saskatchewan and across Canada have received.
The jury is also still out on the question of whether you can safely mix AstraZeneca with another vaccine, if they don’t happen to have enough AZ for a second dose.
So, if you were one of those who took the first vaccine offered you and it happened to be AstraZeneca, you don’t really know for sure what you’ll be getting for a second dose, or whether it’ll be safe if it’s a different brand.
This is really not an acceptable situation when we are trying to deal with a worldwide health care crisis called the COVID-19 pandemic. When every level of government and every community has to deal with this issue, one that’s been inflicting hardship and restrictions on every nation on earth for over a year now, there has to be more clarity in what we can or can’t do.
Unbelievably too there is incoherence and confusion on one of the most contentious aspects of the restrictions, namely mask-wearing.
As the vaccinations spread and more and more of the population are innoculated against this virus, we have organizations like the Center for Disease Control in the U.S. saying in essence, “Hey, if you’re vaccinated you don’t have to worry about masks anymore.” They’re even saying this for most indoor activities — but then you have different regions with different levels of restrictions, and most of them continue to say that mask-wearing is still a requirement.
Can we make up our minds, people? Nobody likes masks, and while we’ve gotten used to wearing them, most people would be ecstatic if they never have to don them again.
A year ago, Saskatchewan was preparing for the “Re-Open Saskatchewan” plan, which worked for a little while until it had to be curtailed again. Now, we have Step 1 of the new reopening plan set to take effect on May 30, and as of Monday, Step 2 will be taking effect on June 20.
Caught up in the midst of all this are high school graduations, which can be held with 150 people outdoors, not including teaching staff. For smaller schools, this works fine, but for a large school like the Weyburn Comprehensive, these numbers just won’t work.
We want an end to all of the restrictions and rules, but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t put all of this at risk of blowing up in our faces. The vaccines are with us this time, and while they aren’t a “magic bullet” of any kind, they will help “normal” life to come back.