What’s happening with the pandemic in Canada this week
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
The CDC says however there is no evidence that this new variant causes severe illness or increases the risk of death.
The pandemic is continuing to spread across Canada this week. With more vaccines coming, and COVID spreading in various places across the country, what is going on in the fight against COVID?
Last month, vaccines finally began to roll out across the country, but just when it looked like Canada finally was going to have the upper hand on the COVID virus, it was discovered that new variants of the disease from the United Kingdom and South Africa have entered Canada. While this new variant is still cured by the vaccine, it is said to be more contagious than the original COVID-19. The CDC says however there is no evidence that this new variant causes severe illness or increases the risk of death.
A worsening of coronavirus is not something Canada needs right now. While BC has been managing COVID without complete lockdowns or strict curfews, other areas of the country have not been so lucky. Earlier this month, Quebec instituted a province wide curfew, where no one is allowed to go out at night for non-essential reasons, and gathering with others is forbidden. The rule is so strict that to get around the order, a couple decided to go out with the wife leading her husband around while he sported a dog collar. Since walking a dog is exempt from the curfew, they felt that this was an appropriate workaround. It was not, and they were fined $3000 by a bylaw officer. In Ontario, all non-essential travel has been strongly discouraged, though many have a problem defining exactly what that means.
Getting back to the vaccine, while the rollout has been slow, it is set to ramp up in April, with the government of Canada promising to have one million vaccine deliveries per week starting in April. Canada is set to have every person who wants the vaccine vaccinated by September. Though the vaccine does reduce the symptoms of COVID in a patient, it cannot prevent someone from getting COVID. The vaccine will save lives, but has not been proven to stop someone who is already vaccinated from contracting COVID.
One of the few bright spots in this pandemic may be the National Hockey League (NHL), who began their season this past Wednesday. Because of COVID restrictions preventing American teams from coming to Canada due to the 14-day quarantine, the NHL has had to change the way the leagues divisions are structured. The most exciting aspect of this change is that for the first time ever, the Canadian teams will be playing in an all Canadian division, dubbed the North Division. This means that the Canadian teams will play each other exclusively. Also, the playoff format means that no matter what, a Canadian team will make it to the final four. This may very well be Canada’s best shot at bringing home the Stanley Cup, which has not been awarded to a Canadian team since 1993.