The Calgary Stampede is back and it is a refreshing taste of normalcy.
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is a test to see if our province can fully reopen safely with no COVID-19 public health measures.
From the looks of it, our days of COVID-19 lockdowns and public health measures appear to be at an end.
Many of us are rooting for the legendary rodeo to find success because it means we can move forward with local public events in Cochrane.
Popular events like Light Up, The Cochrane Lions Labour Day Rodeo, The Outhouse Races, The Labour Day Parade, The Cochrane Fair and many others are now possible.
It is safe to say many of us are eagerly waiting for these events because it offers a chance to reconnect and unite as a community.
Alberta COVID-19 stats are in our favour— Cases have steeply declined and vaccine distributions are on the rise.
As of Monday (July 12), almost five million doses of the vaccine have been distributed and 74.2 per cent of Albertans over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 55.9 per cent of Albertans over 12 have been fully immunized with two doses.
For this first time in a long time, it feels like it is safe to have hope in the future.
However, what is ahead for our community lies in each Cochranites hands.
COVID-19 remains a global health crisis and it is imperative to help prevent the spread through vaccines— Emerging mutations like the Delta Variant showcase how our world and the interactions between us have been forever changed.
If we hope to see planned events come to fruition vaccinations are important, but it is also critical to respect not everyone is ready to see the world open up or line up and get the jab.
We have had a year and a half of living in constant crisis as COVID-19 transformed our daily lives and forced multiple lockdowns in the province.
Walking out the door on July 1 was a bit of a culture shock— We went from living lives in isolation and fear to a bombastic reunion of our community to celebrate Canada Day and the Calgary Stampede.
It will take time for some people to adjust, and as a community, we might not always agree on the correct path forward.
As we celebrate the reunification of our community and the ability to host epic in-person events, keep in mind we all have a role in helping to ensure all Cochranites feel safe and we never face lockdowns again.
Together we can enjoy the summer and work to rebuild the community.