Here is a short update on the COVID-19. AS of the afternoon of April 9, there are 52 active cases in the Cardston / Kainai Health Region. The numbers are staying relatively stable and please continue doing what you can to curb the spread.
I wish to address some of the increasing frustration that is heard in the community regarding COVID and the political discourse around the subject. First of all, the frustration around all COVID health measures is understood. We see our neighbours in the United States remove mask mandates as well as other jurisdictions around the world and many wish to see our government do the same someday soon. The vaccine roll out in Canada is much slower than some other countries, and until we get our vaccination numbers up to the same levels as other jurisdictions, the advice from the medical professionals is to continue to adhere to the same measures that have been in place from the start of the pandemic which includes wearing a mask. The rise in variants of concerns compounds this issue.
For some, the individual frustration and personal convictions leads them to action which may manifest as events such as public demonstrations. Please consider the following thoughts related to this matter:
First, You cannot put a price on a lost life. Those who have suffered through the effects of losing someone need our compassion. We have many community members who know of, or have loved ones who have passed away or are dealing with long term negative effects due to COVID-19. They have lost someone, and the rest of us are being asked to wear a mask in public spaces, social distance, and avoid gatherings. The two sacrifices are not closely comparable.
Second, if the intent is to go into our small businesses without a mask to show your defiance, who is the target of the action and who is affected? What you will end up doing is putting the staff and owners of the businesses in a very difficult position in trying to stay compliant with Provincial Health Restrictions, and Occupational Health and Safety requirements in providing a safe workplace for their staff. No staff members wish to have a confrontation with a mask protestor. Our businesses do not want to be an enforcement entity. Many of our local businesses are already under financial and staffing stress. They do not need people intentionally looking to undermine the safety measures that they are taking to keep their doors open.
Again, the frustration is understood, but now is not the time to cause further burden on the local businesses, nor demonstrate a lack of sensitivity to those who have caught COVID-19 or lost loved ones.