Folks should avoid all travel to Canada.
That’s the advice from the Atlanta, Georgia-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Wednesday.
The same day, Premier Doug Ford was in front of TV cameras declaring a third Covid lockdown in Ontario – this time a four-week stay-at-home order that affects residents province-wide.
To our south, Alberta is swimming in horrifying pandemic news. The province reported 1,351 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, raising the total number of active cases to 11,464, about 43 per cent of which are the more transmissible Covid variants imported from Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
To the southwest in British Columbia, there were 3,766 of those variant cases as of Wednesday, and two more Covid deaths.
Top that off with a new study of 230,000 Covid survivors that showed one in three of them wound up with a psychiatric or brain disorder in six month or less after contracting the virus.
And here we sit in what can sometimes feel like a Northern urban fortress, with only a single active case of the dreaded sickness in Yellowknife, for now, at least.
But the threat remains undeniable.
“The emergence of (COVID-19) variants means there is less room for error in how we follow public health measures and we must remain vigilant as we continue to fight this virus,” chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola advised earlier this week.
Let’s face it, we don’t really want to hear those words. We’re fatigued.
We’ve been hunkered down for more than a year. Small gatherings or none at all; very little to no travel; a whole host of events cancelled; and job losses for many individuals – these are some of the depressing side effects of the pandemic.
Sadly, we’re not at the finish line yet.
Close to 14,000 NWT adults have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The discouraging reality is that reaching the goal of 75 per cent vaccinations among the territory’s eligible population by this summer is now “in question,” Health Minister Julie Green admitted on March 29.
We just have to dig deep and extend our patience for a while longer, until this persistent plague is finally under control. Following public health orders continues to be critical.
And the GNWT clampdown at the border also remains crucial. Turn away anyone who doesn’t have a rock solid reason to be in our midst.
We will get through this, and we want to keep the casualties to a minimum.