So this is the 2nd week in which COVID-19 cases have stayed dramatically higher than in previous months in the province of BC.
In part because of increased testing, of course.
But also in part, because a much larger number of people have become (and continue to become) infected because this virus is clearly circulating much more widely in the community than it has done previously, especially, it seems, in the Fraser Valley.
So no surprise: The provincial health officer has mandated (an odd word, I think, to use for actions by Dr. Bonnie Henry) stricter restrictions on the the citizens of BC by (in theory) limiting gatherings inside homes to members of the household and six guests.
OK, that makes sense to me although I am going to presume that this “restriction is likely to be much more a “recommendation” than an actual prohibition since it’s is going to be very very hard to police this change, so I very much doubt that there will be too many punishments meted out, especially by a government that is going to need a whole lot of good will going forward – why we needed this election a year early during a pandemic is something that is simply impossible to understand except that it made sense politically for the premier since he saw that we are soon in for much tougher times and a new 4-year mandate will mean he can introduce tougher restrictions without too much political blowback.
Anyway, that said, what I totally don’t get it, however, is why at nearly the same time as these cases have shot up, the same provincial government that issues directives (through one of its officers) in which it doesn’t want you to be in contact with more than a handful of people outside your close circle is telling provincial government office workers, so many of whom have been working safely from home for the last few months, that it’s OK for you guys to go back to work (collectively) in those large (mostly poorly-ventilated, window-challenged) old government buildings.
Now, full disclosure demands that I tell you that I have (in that over-worked phrase) “a dog in this race” since my son works for the government in an office high up in one of those buildings and he has to return to work soon from the relative safety of his house, so I am now very concerned about so many aspects of his returning to work with his co-workers: Shared elevators, shared bathrooms, windowless office space (or windows that can’t be opened to allow proper air circulation), shared lunchrooms, shared bathrooms, ventilation of unknown provenance, and on and on.
Does anyone with any common sense really believe that masks (which are still not mandatory in shared public spaces here in BC, another thing that I don’t really understand) and recommended social distancing restrictions will really be adequate protection in such closely-shared circumstances?
It just doesn’t make sense to me – except again, for political reasons because after all, if you own (or lease) a building, you have to use it.
So I would love for the Premier to explain this one to me: if you are expected to severely limit your contacts at home, why are you are not supposed to be nearly as limited in your contacts spaces at work, where you will be spending the majority of your day, after all?