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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.