“TWO WEEKS AWAY FROM A HUG” … this page-wide headline shouted out on my local newspaper on March 19. It topped a story on the launch of “mass immunization clinics” for seniors – a story to be read carefully, thoughtfully, as the world forms battle lines to combat the killer virus COVID-19.
It is a year, give or take a week or so, since the people of the planet Earth were mildly disturbed by rumbles from world health authorities that 2020’s flu season might be a little different than normal. There was a rumour that China was already engaged in a fight to keep a new strain of the flu under control, a rumour that quickly developed into a frightening truth and a confession that the new bug was no longer under laboratory control. It was free, roaming the world and rampant – a declared pandemic with no eye to pity, no arm to save.
No corner of the globe was spared. Nations with established universities and medical research laboratories of high repute stepped up front and centre seeking a cure or at least trying to find a way to halt the invasion of what was now named COVID-19.
World scientists estimated the fall of 2021 as an optimistic success date for a vaccine to possibly halt the rampage. And there was universal rejoicing in early spring when three, then four, major research companies were able to offer tested and approved vaccines months ahead of schedule.
Vaccination for those who seek it and a general return to what was once normal living is now slowly underway in BC, with early glitches being worked out at mass vaccination sites. Even though new COVID variants are emerging, there are those chanting “free at last” and banking on vaccine protection while checking opening times at a favourite bar.
Even Premier John Horgan seemed a little anxious about opening time. At least he sounded that way last Wednesday when he appeared to suggest it wouldn’t be long before Dr. Bonnie Henry looked kindly on relaxing a few rules in the form of benefits for the vaccinated.
Being a politician, he was careful to add, of course, any such decision would be hers, not his. True, and as such, it will be based on health care reasoning, which means being sure the new “infectious variants” in the virus can be controlled by the vaccines.
Which brings me full circle to my opening quote from my local newspaper suggesting its readers are now just “two weeks” from celebrating victory over Covid 19. The facts are that the promise of victory is there with celebratory “hugs” ready to be joyously given; but for now it remains just that a “ promise” not a fact..
Murphy’s law that “if anything can go wrong it will” still hovers and Yogi Berra’s reminder that “the game ain’t over ‘till its over” remains a truth.
So, readers all, be patient. Listen to the health experts not the politicians. And remind yourselves that your parents and grandparents had longer waits to survive famine, pestilence, war and a multitude of other man-made or nature created disasters.