(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

EDITORIAL: Additional COVID-19 restrictions are difficult for all

Every time restrictions are introduced, it takes a toll on our economy

When British Columbia’s COVID-19 case numbers began increasing and when new variants became more prominent, something had to be done.

Still, the most recent restrictions, announced on March 29, are difficult and disheartening.

In order to address the rising case numbers, the province has closed indoor dining at restaurants, prohibited in-person religious services and halted in-person adult fitness activities. These restrictions will have some far-reaching effects, especially for those in the hospitality and tourism sector, which have already been struggling during this pandemic.

COVID-19 has affected us for more than a year, and this is not the first time stringent measures have been imposed. Every time restrictions are introduced, it takes a toll on our economy.

However, action was needed, especially since more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the province over the weekend. This number included 329 new cases of new variants.

Since the pandemic began, British Columbia has recorded more than 98,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,400 deaths, according to statistics from the provincial government. These figures do not include people who have had the virus and continue to face lingering after effects, in some cases a year after diagnosis.

Ignoring or downplaying the recent trend in new case numbers would have been unacceptable and irresponsible.

Some will suggest that the immunization efforts now underway are changing the dynamics of this pandemic. However, despite the vaccines that have been administered, we have not yet conquered this virus.

More than 700,000 British Columbians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but this is a small percentage of our province’s total population of more than 4.7 million people. Until many more have been vaccinated, restrictions and preventative measures will remain necessary.

At the same time, the most recent restrictions will not last forever. The new ruling extends until April 19.

A lot can happen in the coming weeks. If we all work together and follow the restrictions, we will be able to see a time when the pandemic is part of our past and no longer a defining part of the present.

— Black Press

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