This week was one of celebration and triumph as Albertans gathered together to enjoy the May long weekend and the easing of COVID-19 public health measures.
Select businesses in the province were allowed to re-open, if they chose, on Thursday (May 14), and mass gathering restrictions were eased to allow for up to 50 people to attend get-togethers outside.
However, we must remain vigilant because the virus is still with us and it is up to all of us to help prevent the spread and ensure we find success in the economic relaunch.
Our actions are more important than ever in protecting the health of ourselves, families and neighbours— but, how we treat each other and the kindness we show will also play a role as we begin to cautiously and safely resume our daily activities.
It will be a new reality for many as we adapt to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the virus will be with us for many months to come as the Alberta Economic Relaunch Strategy takes flight.
Countless health measures have been introduced to keep us safe and help prevent the spread of the virus— however, these measures will only be effective if we listen to Public Health and treat each other with compassion and consideration.
“We need to face this together and respond to this extraordinary crisis with extraordinary kindness,” Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “All of us are looking towards these next few weeks with optimism and concern about what’s in store as we begin to open up— We have arrived where we are today because of Albertans’ commitment and discipline making sure were following public health guidance and protecting each other.”
Stage One has included the reopening of retail services, hair salons and barbers, daycares, restaurants, cafes and bars with a 50 per cent occupancy limit, museums, art galleries, additional outdoor recreation and allied health services.
If success is found in the early stages of the economic relaunch the province can continue to transition to Stage Two once health measures are achieved based on the advice of Hinshaw.
Stage Two will include the reopening of personal services, massage, reflexology, summer camps with limited occupancy, movie theatres with restrictions and additional elective surgeries.
While these businesses are reopening it is critical to bear in mind that they, like the rest of Albertans, are adjusting to a new reality that involves safe practices to promote and protect the health of the public.
Cochrane restaurants reopened this week and it is a new experience, they are less busy, sanitization is constantly taking place to keep us safe and countless health protocols are being practiced that are hidden behind the scenes.
Following the health measures and showing patience with staff and business that are relaunching will be critical in the coming weeks— Especially because they are doing everything in their power to help keep the community safe and aid in allowing people to slowly resume their daily activities.
It is up to all of us to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe.
To quote The Venue Bar & Grill administrator JoAnne Howard, “Hopefully if we keep following the rules and do a good job doing that it will start to feel more normal soon.”