January 24th, 2021

Rural Alta. ready for full relaunch

By Letter to the Editor on June 4, 2020.

In this time of COVID there is a reality that has been completely ignored by key players in public health, government and media: rural Alberta is ready for a full relaunch.

As presented in Alberta COVID statistics, the overwhelming majority of rural municipalities have had extremely limited or zero cases of the virus, and most have long since recovered. For weeks we have been enduring restrictions that have been unnecessary. After our uneventful April it was clear that all of our businesses, recreation facilities and schools could have safely restarted in early May.

While still encouraging those most at risk to continue to practise safety measures, let’s allow individual common sense to come to the fore. Uneasy about sending your child back to school? Continue home schooling. Think going to church or using the gym is unsafe? Then stay home. Personal responsibility is the answer.

The reason behind quarantine was to “flatten the curve.” Rural Alberta accomplished that months ago. The goal is not to keep everyone from getting sick. That is unattainable and unrealistic. As was shown by the April spike in cases at Cargill/JBS, our health-care system is more than capable of handling even a large jump in cases. Rate of hospitalizations remained low. Very few of those infected, without underlying conditions, end up in hospital or ICU. Stop the scaremongering.

I believe a regional approach to a full relaunch can be initiated immediately in the rural jurisdictions. Leave it up to each municipality to decide how it shall proceed based upon local considerations. It is illogical to expect ALL of Alberta to wait for Stage 3 because of Calgary, High River/Cargill and Brooks. We will not be inundated with residents from these communities wanting to use our facilities. Furthermore, “we are all in this together” is now banal, and for us, pointless.

Rural Alberta requires more enlightened consideration. We’ve run out of reasons to be patient.

Cathy Riley

Bow Island

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John P Nightingale

You need to understand that from a medical perspective, the province as a whole is a “unit”. People travel freely within the province and as such, even small town Alberta can still be exposed.
Dr Henshaw has received kudos from across Canada with her handling of the epidemic within Alberta.
Exceptions were made to two areas deemed at higher risk because of circumstances in Calgary (High River) and Brooks.
Opening a community or communities because of low numbers whilst others are not so advanced is complicated and could thwart the people’s efforts of this province who have sacrificed “freedoms”.
I applaud this province’s handling of C19.
Whether you like it or not “we ARE all in this together” and unless you would like to follow the USA model , please be patient for a while longer!
And BTW, it is not “scaremongering”. “Scary” yes, C19 is very “scary”.


i agree it is time open up public spaces and private businesses that have been shut due to covid measures. take precautions and enter at your own risk seems fair at this juncture.
what makes little sense to me in the letter is how rural communities had “flattened the curve” months ago. it was just months ago that coivd measures began, was it not?