COVID-19 is a stubborn foe, as we all know from the turmoil we have endured over the past two years.
Whenever we let down our collective guard during that time, the insidious virus found a way around our defences. The result was wave after wave of illness, hospitalizations and, too often, death.
COVID is not an opponent to be taken lightly. This is not fear mongering; it’s a fact.
We all want it to be over, of course, so that we can continue to rewind life to some semblance of what it was B.C. – Before COVID.
A week ago, Niagara’s acting chief medical officer of health warned that the region was seeing a resurgence of COVID as the long-predicted sixth wave washed over the region.
That’s the bad news.
In some quarters – notably on social media – some people have vocally and virulently taken issue with Dr. Mustafa Hirji’s statements that we all need to continue to wear masks indoors and more people should get their vaccine booster shots.
Yes, without formal mandates, we are all able to choose whether to don a mask. Or not.
Many people wanted a choice as opposed to mandates, so now they have the opportunity to make a choice.
We hope they choose sensibly.
The good news is that the vast majority of people appear to be making the more sensible choice of doing what we’ve been doing since the start of the pandemic.
In our travels around Niagara-on-the-Lake and through Toronto and the GTA, everywhere we look most people are opting to wear a mask in public settings.
That is encouraging and a reflection of taking a sensible approach to protect ourselves and others from the invisible enemy that is COVID.
As well, we have to agree with Hirji, on the subject of vaccines and boosters. More people need to get them.
Ontario just this week has started to make available a second booster for older residents, starting Thursday (the fourth shot, for those who have lost count).
But, in the meantime, the number of people getting their third shot has waned, as Hirji noted, perhaps because they feel the worst is over. We hope it is, but science and experience tell us that in order to protect everyone most effectively, more people need to get boosted as soon as possible.
With the fourth shot coming, we have another opportunity to help ourselves and others in the fight against COVID.
So, please make the smart choice – get the shot.