I’m proud to live in Edmonton. It’s a place where people from all over the world — escaping war, poverty and privation — can come and build better lives for themselves. My family is no exception; my dad came here in 1960 from Denmark. But, lately, there has been a rising complacency about the coronavirus that has me greatly concerned.
According to City of Edmonton statistics, COVID-19 cases hit a low on March 8 with just 15 reported in the city. But, since then, the numbers are swinging upwards. There were 59 cases reported in Edmonton on April 12.
In February, the Provincial Government announced public health orders would be eased through a three-step plan. The Restriction Expemption Program was cancelled. Premier Jason Kenney said: “Our approach to COVID must change as the disease changes.”
“We cannot remain at a heightened state of emergency forever,” the premier said, “We have to begin to heal, and so Alberta will move on.”
As a person at risk of severe outcomes if I contract the virus, with a father in his 80s, who is at even greater risk, I feel mask mandates — and, perhaps, even greater measures —need to be kept in place.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “…we cannot continue to use restrictions in the long term, once the risk of system overwhelm has passed.” But the easing of provincial restrictions will cause many people feel they can now ignore even the most basic of precautions, including masks and social distancing.