More than three weeks have passed since schools in B.C. were closed to students and gatherings over 50 people were banned and when it comes to the number of new cases, the numbers appear to be starting to drop off. On Saturday, April 4, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced there were 29 new cases in B.C. some of the lowest numbers in weeks. Furthermore, the rate at which new patients have been entering hospitals has steadily decreased. That’s perhaps a reason to be a little optimistic. If nothing else, it shows B.C. is holding the line.
However, if you’re about to get together with your neighbours for a block party to celebrate, it’s still too early. Those who’ve been spending too much time online looking through endless Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Reddit posts, have undoubtedly seen videos or pictures showing people dancing or partying accompanied by something along the lines of “me when the quarantine ends.” They’re generally old images from well before COVID-19 but they’re illustrating the wrong kind of mindset.
As Dr. Bonnie Henry put it, “this is our time when we need to keep our firewall strong. We all can stand proud knowing that we are doing our bit.”
Even if the numbers go down further, we’re going to want to continue exercising caution. The relative success, if you can call it that, in B.C. thus far has been because so many people are exercising proper cautions. If we throw that into the wind because we think “we did it,” we’re going to end up back exactly where we were a few weeks ago with case counts increasing nearly every day. After all if nothing else, COVID-19 has proven it doesn’t take long to affect a significant number of people. Furthermore, even with the decreased number of new cases, we’ve still got hundreds of active cases with confirmed COVID-19, let alone any undiagnosed diseases.
While we seem to be on the right path, it’s relatively easy to make a wrong turn. Any resurgence in case growth would mean stronger and longer-lasting restrictions and, consequently, a greater impact on our businesses and lives.
This means that if restrictions start being lifted, it will likely be a gradual process and the businesses that were among the first to close or impacted, will likely be to be among the last to reopen. For their sake and that of everyone else, make sure you continue exercising caution even if things are starting to look up.