Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Premier John Horgan announce vaccine card program for access to restaurants, sports events, weddings and other shared public events, B.C. legislature, Aug. 23, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Premier John Horgan announce vaccine card program for access to restaurants, sports events, weddings and other shared public events, B.C. legislature, Aug. 23, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

Editorial: Mask mandate, vaccine card are the right moves

Had our officials not done something they would have been negligent

There was much consternation last week when the government announced that we were going back to mask mandates for all indoor public places. Also, the need to have a vaccination for COVID-19 for many crowd-based indoor activities this fall.

Some complained it was confusing. Others grumbled about having to go back to wearing masks.

But here’s the thing: they undeniably made the right call.

We get it. It’s not fun wearing a mask. Trying to make yourself understood through the darn things is sometimes a bizarre combination of shouting and charades. But it has been proven during the COVID-19 pandemic that they work to slow the spread of the deadly virus. So stick on your mask, just like you stick on your seatbelt.

And while previous reopening plans had included a virtual return to normal by fall, there was never any guarantee of that. In fact, our own behaviour, particularly going out and getting our vaccine, was always going to play a big part in whether we could take those steps forward.

Unfortunately, while our vaccination rates are very good in British Columbia and climbing all the time, they were not good enough to spare us from the Delta COVID variant that is more contagious and more deadly than previous strains, and has very quickly become the dominant strain in the province. Had our officials not done something about the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations and deaths, they would have been negligent.

Further, the number of people registering to get vaccinated and booking a vaccination appointment skyrocketed by thousands immediately following the announcement that we are going to need to show vaccination cards this fall. This clearly proves it was the right move, providing the right push to bump people out of complacency to act in their own best interests, which not so incidentally are the best interests of all of us.

Some people need a deadline.

Cowichan Valley West, which includes the Cowichan Lake area, has been one of the areas on Vancouver Island with the slowest vaccine uptake. We hope the need for a vaccine card will convince at least some of those who are sure that they have a great immune system, and therefore not much to worry about, to get their shot. After all, you’ll have an even better immune system after vaccination. That’s how vaccines work.

So do yourself and everyone around you the courtesy of caring enough to get vaccinated, and put on your mask, no matter how tired of it you are.

COVID-19Editorials