Wednesday June 9th 2021
Great news, this week, Ontario is starting into another reopening on June 11th. After Ontario’s third wave of Covid-19. For many of us it seems long overdue.
Ontario is a huge province, how huge you might ask? Well Ontario is bigger that Texas, yup and I mean a lot bigger, over 100,000 square miles bigger so it has been very painful waiting for the densely populated area that is referred to as GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to finally get this pandemic under control.
And in reality they never did. They only were able to control it with the vaccines, similar to our friend in the States, our biggest city just couldn’t get a handle on it. Of course it also has most of the “special people” you know the ones, that think none of the rules apply to them, the “anti maskers”, “anti vaxxers”, protestors of the lockdown, and who knows what else. The best conspiracy theory I heard was that the world governments was trying to inject everyone with a microchip to gain control of all the population of the world. Like seriously our government hasn’t got the smarts to pull that off let alone every government in every country agreeing on anything, that would be a miracle of epic proportion.
In fact I even upset a few sensitive “special people” last week when I posted that I was proud that Canada had reached a 65% vaccination rate, so after a few insults, followed by irrational fictitious arguments it seemed that profanity was their main form of defence for me calling them special, and “special” seemed so much kinder than what I was really thinking … but I digress.
So on Friday the restaurants can reopen their patios for tables of 4 people with proper distancing and precautions. non essential stores can reopen with limited people, at 15% of their capacity, transient campgrounds can reopen, we are allowed to gather in groups of 10 with proper protocols, and while all this is wonderful for the people of the GTA because they had been locked down since Christmas, it is still a step back for many of us.
Like I said earlier this is Ontario’s third attempt at reopening, and each one has had a fancy name, and previous reopening’s had been regional. So when the province declared a stay at home order back at Christmas after a month, the regions with little or no cases were allowed to reopen on a colour coded scale which ran from green to grey, and was based solely on case counts. And while our area was a yellow region, so we could shop anywhere, and had indoor restaurants of up to six per table, the GTA never got out of grey so if you lived in a region that allowed nothing to open accept essential services and there was a region that allowed haircuts and shopping you would be tempted just to go to that region.
And that is exactly what happened, and in some cases it was like walking across the street, because the the south side was in grey and the north side was in red. So you could get a haircut on the north side but not the south. So with the latest lockdown it was decided that because there were so many “region hoppers” that the whole province would open at once under something called “Ontario’s road map to reopening” which is the three step plan that happens this Friday, as step one comes into effect.
Yesterday was the first day that Ontario reported less that 500 new cases, since September of last year, and it is totally because of the vaccine, and the hard work of those getting shots into the arms of the population. Canada as a whole was caught in a bad spot when the vaccines were first developed and rolled out, because in this global economy, we have had to rely on companies in other countries fulfilling their commitments and we quickly seen leaders that would not allow shipments to be sent to Canada. In fact both the US (United States) and the EU (European Union) either restricted or stopped the flow, so much allies in this global economy.
So for Canada which was lagging so far behind so many countries with vaccination rates less than six months ago, to have caught and surpassed most countries has been outstanding. Now in most cases it has only been one dose, but the case numbers prove that the decision to extend the time between first and second doses has saved a lot of Canadian lives. And as of yesterday these are Ontario’s vaccinations which is which our reopening is tied to.
Ontario’s reopening is directly tied to the vaccination rate of adults, both first dose and second dose numbers as well as the amount of coronavirus cases still in the healthcare system. Like any good government they don’t give us all the criteria, they have to leave some unknown in case there is a need to throttle the reopening.
From the vaccination portion stage one was we could open 21 days after reaching 65% of the adult population with at least one dose.
Stage two requires 70% of adult population to have one dose and 20% to be fully vaccinated, and here are those numbers as of last evening.
So we have already meet the first dose matrix and with opening up more second dose appointments the second dose numbers should jump up very dramatically in the next week so with lower case numbers early July should see us in stage two that will allow more services like haircuts and such.
And step three which will allow indoor dining and much more freedom is based on a vaccination rate of 75-80% first dose and 25% fully vaccinated. And of course the case load on the health care system needs to keep dropping. And at our present rate of progress by late July or early August we should be in great shape.
And like a good little sheep, I have my second vaccine appointment booked for two weeks from today, and the fact that it was a two week wait makes me happy because as appointments opened up they were being filled by people eager to get protected from this virus.
I must admit that I thought there were more “anti vaxxers” out there but with Ontario already at 73%, their numbers are dwindling fast. So it would appear that most people want to be protected no matter what they say on social media, which is no surprise, after all it’s all fun and games until it comes to life or death. And while I wish them no harm, it is still time we all cleansed ourselves of their rhetoric, I know my Facebook page is a lot cleaner after my purge, and I haven’t heard a conspiracy theory yet this week … jus’saying.
Get your vaccine, Be well, and Stay Strong!