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We’re on Vancouver Island right now and road tripped with the minimum stops to get here. The drive was an eye opener… the coles notes is that masks “optional” in the other Western provinces is being taken in greater numbers than I thought as masks “off.” Stop in Moose Jaw was about 50/50, even staff in their tourism building were without (granted behind glass). Canmore was the first real “holy (poop)” moment. If you just emerged from a hole for the last year and a half you might be surprised we’re working through a pandemic. Sidewalks quite full, us generally having to be the ones to sidestep to allow for decent distance. Van pulls up and drops off a full compliment of eight “da boyz” ready for a night on the town. Our motel sends me a text as we’re getting close advising that the hot tub is now open and ready for use (I'm two doses plus two weeks, but a little too soon thx). Grocery store I made a run to had about 50 people it, only three with masks on that I saw. Revelstoke grocery store was similar and of course you have to quickly accept you don’t get to know anyone’s vaccine status and trust in your own. In Abbotsford I was asked to take my mask off at the quick service food restaurant so the guy working the counter could understand me better (politely declined). noticable difference on the ferry and Island itself where its more like 3/4 chosen mask use… but its all enough to see where this is heading barring Delta (or future variant) complications.
This is the environment an open border will plug into, keeping in mind that whoever comes across is fully vaccinated to start.
With Manitoba being behind the other provinces in timeline around impacts of third wave and with having to make decisions with Winkler/Steinbach in mind I imagine we’re extra cautious in flipping the switch to the next level of re-opening as we stick to our guns with criteria needed for the third phase (80%/75%). If Manitoba’s still in its current re-opening stage it will be interesting to see what kind of education is in place to make sure our current rules are known and followed by visitors to make sure we're safely sticking to what needs to be done for the province and it's own unique Covid state.
Thx for asking.
-I’m traveling with a young one of age that can’t get vaccinated yet -I return to a province in a few days that hasn’t hit its double-vax target and is still in a serious enough situation to require masks -the restriction relaxing in these provinces allows for anti-vaxxers/vaccine-hesitant to mingle with the rest of the population unprotected in higher-risk environments-No shortage of experts point to an opening for Delta and variants between the amount of population still unvaccinated and the potential for those vaccinated to still act as virus vectors …. it’s the responsible thing to do. I'm as looking forward to post-Covid life as the next guy and excited to see us getting closer and closer every day, but when habits are established I'm in no rush to change them if there's benefit to keeping them up. Will re-evaluate based on guidance from my own province if/when Manitoba hits 80/75… benchmarks that incidentally none of these provinces have reached yet.
At any rate, the main thing I wanted to get across when posting was the clear regional disparities right now. That Manitoba doesn't seem to be too far from reaching the same goals... and how that and differing policy by region/country might or might not influence peoples' thinking as this thread goes on.
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