EDITORIAL: A time for cautious optimism

It’s tempting to dream that COVID-19 is over and done, but wiser to continue doing our part

The sun may be shining, but we’re not out of the the woods yet.

With the introduction this week of phase two of B.C.’s restart plan (outdoor and indoor gatherings of up to 50 people, the return of recreational travel within the province, sector planning on easing of restrictions), we may be forgiven a wave of optimism about a post-pandemic future.

For the first time in months, we have some sense that we may be able to make plans – whether it’s for personal vacations and celebrations, or organized events such as sports meets, theatre or concert presentations.

With phase three potentially just around the corner in early July, entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profit organizations alike are able to start visualizing again what might be – even if there has to be a Plan B or C.

After more than a year of restrictions, it’s inevitable – even prudent – that we feel cautious about making such plans. We have learned that we are resilient and adaptable. But we have also learned there is little to gain – and much to lose – by being reckless, especially when it comes to the health of the population.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has warned that, while B.C. residents may not have to consider going back to earlier restrictions, they may yet have to be prepared go forward more slowly.

The key will be the close monitoring of infection rates, balanced against vaccinations, with particular attention paid to new variants of COVID-19 as they emerge and are detected in the province.

It’s tempting to dream that COVID-19 is over and done, but wiser to continue doing our part with the masking, distancing, hand-sanitizing – and vaccinating – that have brought us to this hopeful point.