The Good, the Bad and Ugly

            Every bar, restaurant and pub is adding patio space if they can. Indoor spaces are tabu these days but we can still go out and sit under tents, with propane heaters and properly distanced, despite being vaccinated.

            ‘So now that over one and a half million, or close to the 30 percent of BC residents are jabbed, at least once, and another few hundred thousand are recovered, probably with some kind of immunity, then why are we locking down even harder?’ I asked, my frustration shining clearly through.

            ‘Simple really my friend, more infections, more mutations of the virus, more hospitalizations and covid victims in ICU than ever before. It’s a race: transmissions vs vaccinations. Let’s wait for the latter to win out eventually,’ Camp said. It’s happening in the US, the UK, Israel and wherever they are getting their populations vaccinated. Canada is finally catching up, currently in 7th place.’ 

            ‘Did you notice that the latest travel restrictions were announced by the politicians and not the public health officer? What does that tell you?’ I said.

            ‘Do I need to spell it out?’ Camp said. ‘Dr. Henry is the good cop whereas the premier and the other ministers are the bad cops.’

            We drank to that. 

            ‘I listened to an interview with a doctor on CBC the other morning and he was very distraught and upset about how the pandemic and the vaccination response is skewed on a socio-economic and even racial scale. The data that is available to every politician and public health professional spells it out clearly that the majority of infections, hospitalizations and resulting deaths is heavily slanted towards the ones who cannot afford or are unable to stay home from and for work, those who live in crowded flats and houses, in short, the people who are economically and socially disadvantaged, including immigrants. Why is nothing done to correct this inequality? He asked. Is it because these people have no voice?’ 

            ‘It doesn’t surprise me,’ Camp said, ‘we know where the hotspots are, where most of the transmissions take place and your TV-doctor is probably right: It’s once again the poor and most vulnerable in society who bear the brunt of this pandemic. It’s ugly.’

            ‘Now the focus has shifted from the old in care homes since many of them have now been vaccinated. That’s the good part. The bad part is that we are still not prioritizing the vaccines towards the high-risk groups. We should be concentrating on factory workers, street people, downtown east side populations, bus drivers, teachers and everybody that lives in a multi-generational home.’ 

            ‘It’s still a debilitating mess out there and probably not so easy to get a handle on. It’s one thing to point out what’s wrong but another to make it right. I think they’re doing the right thing in the US because it is a concerted federal effort while here the provinces are in charge, but they still have to rely on the feds to procure the vaccines. Just more levels of bureaucracy which get in the way of efficiency.’

            ‘I’m glad we got that sorted out. Since we both had our shots, as did Muriel and Clare, can’t we get together for a dinner party now?’

            ‘I think so. Since you and me are a safe bubble, by extension our wives are the logical extension. Always have been. Lets do it. Both Muriel and Clare need some fun.’

            ‘Did you watch Biden’s speech to congress the other day?’ I asked.

            ‘No, but I did see the highlights. What a change from the past four years. He almost sounded like a socialist with his Keynesian infra structure and rescue programs. Tax the rich and help the poor. Healthcare a right, not a privilege. Gun control now. Dacca revived. Impressive.’

            ‘Vicky came by with two fresh pints and Camp wanted to know if she had been vaccinated.’

            ‘Not me. Apparently, I’m in the low-risk age but I serve dozens of people every day, then go home to my boyfriend who’s been out working with his crew on a construction site and our little boy has spent time with Jay’s mom who has a small circle of friends she sees regularly. Go figure it out.  I should be in line for some protection.’

            ‘We’re safe,’ Camp said. ‘We’re both vaccinated and practically pickled.’

            ‘It’s not you two I’m scared off, it’s everybody else,’ Vicky said, adjusting her mask.

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