Writer, Parker Zhang
***Written before April 23rd Update***
It was a little more than a year ago when the lockdown happened. Staying at home was the norm, and everyone was scared. Now, looking back we had a lot less to be worried about then. The new case numbers are minuscule compared to our third wave statistics.
Back in the very distant past, when we were on spring break in 2020, the BC government declared a state of emergency. Travelling Canadians were told to come back as soon as possible from their trips to self-isolate, and to avoid travelling abroad if possible. The new case numbers on March 17th, the day of the declaration was 156 new infections. Today, over a year later, people seem to be less worried than when it first started. At the start everyone was scared of the virus, people were staying at home and only going out when they needed to. The public sentiment now is learning to live with it. And as people are learning to live with it, Canada’s third wave is hitting the country hard. As of today writing this, the new confirmed daily cases are at 7,600. An unprecedented leap from the 152 that sent people into isolation.
Over the past year, we have adapted to the virus. We have utilized new technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We have ordered takeout more and saved our money.
But what has changed for WGSS Students?
Masks are now mandated by the Province for students grade 4 and up
British Columbian guidelines have changed from not required, to optional, to recommend, and now to mandatory. Students in the age group mentioned above are required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including: At their work stations (desks) On school buses. Within and outside learning groups, says the Province of British Columbia website. Masks are also recommended, but not required, for children in kindergarten up to Grade 3.
All K to 12 staff and all students in grades 4 to 12 are required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including: At their work stations (desks) On school buses. Within and outside learning groups
Indoor Dining is Banned
After spring break, Bonnie Henry announced a “circuit breaker” ban on indoor dining that would last until April 19. This was later extended through May. Some restaurants can remain open by having restricted outdoor patio dining.
COVID Cohorts Up to 10 people allowed (Outside)
The province recently stated that individuals are now allowed to have up to 10 people in private backyards provided it is outdoors. They also recommend that these 10 people remain the same 10 people. How Gators can consider this is that you can have up to 10 classmates in your class come over, as long as you guys remain outdoors.
Currently, Canada has approved four different COVID-19 vaccines. These include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen. On April 17th, Canada recorded its second Astrazeneca blood clot case. Health Canada continues to remark that these blood clots are rare and that the benefits outweigh the risk. Out of caution, however, the AstraZeneca vaccine is only being administered to those 55 (because they seem to be less at risk for forming blood clots) and older while further investigation is being conducted.
Currently, Canada’s vaccine rollout is successful but slower than other nations. According to the COVID Vaccine Tracker Canada, 23.3 percent of Canadians have received the first dose of a vaccine.
But there is a big question.
Can WGSS Gators get the vaccine?
Currently, only one vaccine has been approved that SOME Gators can get. That is the Pfizer vaccine, all other vaccines have minimum ages of 18, 55 in AstraZeneca’s case. BUT only those 16 and older can, as the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, has yet to be proven for those younger 16 (me crying at 15).
For those Grade 12 Gators who are 18+, BC is encouraging you to register for vaccination. As you are 18+ you have three vaccine options rather than one, and you meet provincial guidelines to get the shot. Again, it will take a while to get that call, but better to do it now so you are ahead of the line slightly.
- Friday, April 23 – Registration opens for people aged 18 and up
Registrants will need:
a health number, postal code, date of birth and an email address or phone number (that can receive text messages)
Well, that’s my COVID update on case numbers, mask mandates in school, outdoor dining, and vaccine eligibility.
Stay safe Gators, remember to wear your mask!