On June 12, many regions in the province – including ours – moved into Stage 2 of the Province’s pandemic recovery plan. Changes immediately implemented included outside patios, full services for retail businesses, outdoor recreation facilities and the size of a gathering increased from 5 to 10. Travel restrictions within the province were removed. All of these changes occurred with the continued use of guidelines put in place by the Health Units – physical distancing of 6 ft and when you can’t maintain that distance to wear a face mask and frequent hand washing.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in Kingston makes the point that this virus wants to come back into our community at any given moment. Kingston’s region had been free from any positive tests since early May. And yet it arrived with a fury this week. At this point in time, there are 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that resulted from contact with individuals who worked or attended at one business. Hundreds of people have been lining up at the assessment centre in Kingston to be tested, many people are required to self isolate for 14 days. The Board of Health for that region has ordered mandatory wearing of masks when inside any building other than a residence.
In March and April, people in the Village practiced physical distancing, hand washing and self-isolating. Once Health Canada recommended wearing face masks, sewers in the village worked with a frenzy to make masks, turning out over 1500 in a few short weeks. These masks are still available at the pharmacy, Town Hall or my front verandah.
The primary purpose for wearing a mask is to prevent spreading the virus to someone else. It helps keep people, including your loved ones, safe by stopping the spread. The experts have stated that 40% of people who are likely to spread the virus are asymptomatic. That means they don’t know they have the virus but have the potential to infect others. Could that be you? If you are concerned, contact the Health Unit or your medical practitioner to arrange a test.
We need to make sure that everyone is continuing to practice physical distancing of 6 ft and wearing a face mask when that is not possible and frequent hand washing. These are our social norms and rules until there is a vaccine.
It’s time for us all to remain vigilant. We can learn from the Kingston example. COVID-19 is like an ember in our Village – hot, full of heat and can burst into a raging fire with the smallest poke.
COVID-19. We are in it for the long game.