EDITORIAL – Back to school means the end of summer vacation from COVID

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL and that means a lot of things. For many, it means the end of summer fun.

Normally, the biggest thing we have to worry about is getting used to school-zone speed limits. But the new school year also means our vacation from COVID-19 is over. Sure, we all know COVID hasn’t gone away but during this past summer it’s almost seemed like it. It’s been like a holiday from the pandemic — the masks are gone; concerts, movies and sports are back, few people social distance anymore.

A guy in the checkout lineup crowded right up behind me the other day to dump his groceries onto the conveyer and while it made me feel uncomfortable, that’s the way it is right now.

School days are going to bring renewed pandemic concerns, though, as classrooms are once again crowded with potential little COVID carriers.

Dr. Bonnie Henry — remember her? — says not to worry. While some parents and teacher groups want strict protocols in place, she says all that’s needed is to make sure everybody is vaccinated and for anyone who feels sick to stay home from school.

Wearing masks — once mandated — is now a “personal or family choice” according to health authorities.

Dr. Henry says we collectively have a higher level of immunity than we did in the beginning, and the variants are less severe.

The Kamloops-Thompson School District’s plans for COVID precautions parallel provincial guidelines, with “normal” being the word of the day.

Governing bodies from city councils to legislatures will be back at work, too. And, if COVID isn’t enough, flu season will quickly be upon us.

So, what to do about it? Since it’s all a “personal choice,” how about we all mandate ourselves to be careful out there and hope Dr. Henry and her team are agile enough to ramp up mandates again if needed?

And keep our distance in the checkout line-ups.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Back to school means the end of summer vacation from COVID

  1. Ian MacKenzie // September 6, 2022 at 7:16 AM // Reply

    My own preference is to wear a mask wherever there are groups, some of whom are unknown to me as to their many contacts. As you say, the fall flue season is close by. I see no wise reason why we should not emulate the long-standing asian culture in this respect.

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