Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature last month. (B.C. government photo)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature last month. (B.C. government photo)

Editorial: Restrictions wearying, but we could be worse off

We’ve holed up this long and are holding up all right

The pandemic is stress-testing us at least a little longer.

B.C. health officials are keeping us in isolation for another month, as provincial health orders against gatherings with anyone outside our households are being extended until Feb. 5.

It’s hard, though we know there are those for whom this is harder. Front-line workers, including those in health care, have lived with elevated risks and trepidation since the virus arrived on Vancouver Island’s shores. More than 1,000 people on the Island have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, 150 are sick right now, a handful are hospitalized, 12 have died.

That said, the reality that some have had it worse doesn’t discount anyone’s sufferings. We’ve sacrificed close contact with family and friends and missed life experiences and it’s not fair.

EDITORIAL: We can resolve to limit what COVID-19 costs us

We held out some hope that the restrictions would be eased this week, though in truth, it was pretty clear that case count trends weren’t pointing to that outcome.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a press conference Thursday that although she thinks the vast majority of British Columbians followed public health orders over the holidays, “some people made the decision to make an exception for themselves.” Even a few people in every community finding excuses to bend the rules increases risks for everyone exponentially, the doctor said.

She acknowledged everyone is tired of the pandemic but asked for co-operation nevertheless.

“The virus doesn’t know that we haven’t seen our friends in months. It doesn’t know that it’s our grandmother’s birthday. It doesn’t know,” Henry said. “When we let our guard down, it’s transmitted.”

What the doctor is saying makes sense. We’re more weary of quarantine by now, but it’s no less important; in fact, case counts show the virus is in our part of the Island and is being spread here.

Some are combatting the virus with every breath in their body. For the rest of us, our fight is a bit different – a personal contribution to a collective effort. We’ve holed up this long and are still holding up. We can do this.

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