April is like a preview for summer. Kids are already swimming in the ocean and shorts and T-shirts are replacing jeans and sweaters. I love the longer days, letting the light in and making the birds sing. Maybe I also felt better having gotten my first Pfeizer shot. Not that it changes anything. Camp just sauntered in as I sat down and Vicky appeared right on time with some lovely golden refreshments.
‘How was your week?’ I asked Camp. ‘Did you get your shot?’
‘No, no spots available here. They make me and many others go to West or North Vancouver and even offered me a spot in Golden, some 700km away. This despite a province wide advisory against leaving your community. It seems that the Sunshine Coast was forgotten and vaccine clinics were arbitrarily cancelled and no new ones planned. Somebody made a mistake with the postal codes and thinks we’re part of Vancouver Island.’
‘That sucks,’ I said, ‘I guess I got lucky or thanks to Clare who got me an appointment the minute the phone banks opened.’
‘Meanwhile Canada pulls ahead of the US in daily new cases per capita and 25 per cent of the US population has been vaccinated while only 2 percent of Canadians have been jabbed. Go figure.’
‘Let’s face it, it’s both worse and better than last year at this time. We have more infections but the fatality rate is down and hopefully – I hate to use that word – by August we’ll have some kind of herd immunity. Israel claims they are already there and lifted mask and assembly mandates last week.’
‘It’s probably motivated by politics as much as health concerns,’ Camp said. ‘How are the Swiss doing? ‘
‘They are opening up indoor dining, sport centres and activities up to 50 people despite growing infection numbers, but they claim that the mental health of the population is just as important as the physical health and due to the vaccines and immunities, fatalities are declining. Also, they trust their population to make smart choices and they’re aiming for some kind of normalcy by the summer. The rest of Europe looks on somewhat sceptical.’
‘Is Switzerland now the new Sweden?’ Camp asked. Once again, time will tell.
‘Here at home, our premier Horgan is telling us how it is. No travelling between regional health authorities of which we have 6 in BC, no RVs on ferries as if its vaccinated pensioners spreading the virus. As his colleague in Ontario, Doug Ford, Horgan has to walk back his reactionary announcements, step by step.’
‘Leave it to the public health authorities, to Dr. Bonnie Henry, instead.’
‘Exactly, meanwhile it’s an epic battle: Virus vs Homo Sapiens. Right now, the virus seems to be in the lead, cancelling all the fun, sports and social gatherings as well as travel.’
‘What about vaccine passports?’
‘Again, it’s probably a political football being kicked around by advocates of personal freedoms, information paranoids and government control. It would be easy to give everyone a password protected code which could be provided to airlines and border security services. If VISA and Mastercard and Revenue Canada can do it, then so can the health services. If we can pay and purchase with a simple swipe or tap, then we can surely manage a vaccine record since everybody that has been vaccinated is documented.’
‘You’re right, it should be an easy logistical solution.’
‘How do you like our new patio table?’ Vicky asked when she brought us a refill.
‘We like it. It’s the new wave in outdoor pubs and restaurants. Who wants to furnish and maintain indoor spaces if you can eat and drink under a tent or out in the open?’’
‘It will work fine in the summer. And I get to spend more time outside as well,’