June 17th, 2024

Province tying reopening to vaccines a strategy with possible problems

By Lethbridge Herald Opinion on May 29, 2021.

While some doctors and medical professionals in the province are sounding alarms about the optimistic nature of the Kenney government’s three-stage “open for summer” plan to ease restrictions, time will tell if some of those predictions come to pass and Alberta ends up in a possible “fourth wave”.
In the meantime, many in the business community are welcoming the opportunity to swing open doors and bring back patrons, but the enthusiasm is slightly more muted this time around. Business owners have seen and heard these pronouncements from government before, only to see further lockdowns and severe restrictions eat into their bottom lines. So the optimism is a little more cautious coming from owners or managers that have been burned before. ‘Fool me twice’ is an old adage that is taking on new meaning for Alberta’s business community as it grapples with the economic fallout of the pandemic.
The one major difference between previous lockdowns and all of us emerging from the present one, is the potential for mass vaccination to offer a lifeline to provincial citizens in taking an active part in putting the boots to the remnants of COVID-19 still racing through Alberta.
That being said, mass vaccination would appear to be the key to the success of the reopening plan, with the provincial government tying first-dose vaccination rates and percentages to the different phases of reopening. Beyond the obvious medical and public health reasons for associating reopening schedules with vaccination rates, there may have been other factors at play for the province in making shots in arms a critical factor.
Vaccine “hesitancy” – or even outright opposition – has been a significant factor in combatting the pandemic in Alberta in the past six months since the vaccine rollout has gained steam. Misinformation campaigns, anti-maskers and those in radical defense of civil liberties have not made it easy to enforce public health orders, and recent crackdowns in some areas seem more knee-jerk reactionary than aimed at a blanket approach to enforcement.
However, tying first-dose vaccine rates to reopening schedules puts the vaccine- hesitant and opposed on the back foot in Alberta. If the province is unable to reach a 70 per cent threshold called for in Stage 3, those of us who have done our due diligence and gotten our shots will likely be expressing less-than-charitable opinions about some of the citizens that inhabit that final 30 per cent.
It would also have the dual effect of largely muzzling the allegations of civil liberty activists. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, the province could argue that these individuals have no one to blame but themselves for restrictions being maintained due to a lower-than-expected vaccination percentage.
Wider support will quickly drop away if the province digs in its heels in reaching a desired threshold, as it can easily point the finger at these individuals and groups – rightly or wrongly – as a factor in preventing Alberta’s larger population from enjoying a return to a normality in 2021.

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John P Nightingale

Multiple problems with this “opening” overseen by Kenney et al.
Beginning with a miserly 50% leading up to 70% single dose vaccinations . (Currently we are at around 8% for double dose.) No regard to hospital admissions for stage 3. Lax enforcement even now of crowded venues.
A not so water-tight border with the USA.
This current rushed opening is about one thing and one thing alone – the glorious Stampede.
We have endured so far and sacrificed much but to say as Kenney, Shandro and even Hinshaw has stated, we have not “crushed” this virus. Corralled it maybe and we are on the brink of defeating it but not right now.
Too fast and too soon.

Last edited 3 years ago by John P Nightingale

the usa border closure has been a farce. not only have people been able to travel to and fro via air, but the “exceptions” granted en masse to road travelers makes a grand mockery of all the “rules”. moreover, idiots have been able to skirt int’l travel quarantine “laws” by landing in the usa from wherever, and immediately coming into canada via the so-called closed ground border.
and hate to be repetitive, but allowing people to come here from all over the planet is what brought covid here, is what brought the variants here, and is what helps to sustain the mess. so too is the utter lack of enforcement of mask wearing. bad enough to have so many foolish idiots in the midst, but ever the worse to have idiots for govt. better strap in folks, because we now know that when a real bad pandemic or disaster hits, we have no one and no place to look to for salvation.


Given the case that The Lethbridge Herald is not taking my letters seriously by putting them aside, i would like to ask if there is any official information about why people have to wait up until 16 weeks for a pFizer second dose vaccine? That measure is closing the doors for the medium international traveler class.


Perhaps if you would provide more left wing progressive opinions in your letters the LH may then publish them and or offer them some sort of public airing. There seems to be an obvious steady and steadfast stream of collective left wing progressive persnickety, snooty and anti-UCP constant group of letter writers who seem to have the ear and sympathy of the LH editors.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dakota

Oh, poor baby! Would you like some cheese with your whine?


How about some brains with your water-logged head! Can you EVER provide any substance with your intelligence deprived posts twit?