I can hear the LibChat notification go off in my sleep. My college began its two-week student event, and no rehearsal can anticipate one technical bug messing things up. The school year has already started, and my to-list takes on the routine of students back in classes, though it’s online.
For the past few weeks, I have jumped on and off WordPress to see the latest on Richard Armitage’s 50th birthday, especially the auction of his Guy of Gisbourne leather jacket. In the middle of fandamonium, Premiere Thranduil, the nickname for Premier Brian Pallister, decided to step down as leader of his party. Did I mention he has a place in Costa Rica and has, on occasion, been there while his government carried on? Also, in the middle of this change came the relaxing of some public health orders after we met our vaccine goals.
Great! I thought restaurants will open to more people from different households, immunization cards will play more of a role, especially as movie theatres open to limited capacity. The orders came around, and mask mandates lifted.
On top of everything else, no effort was made to mandate vaccines. It made no sense and looked like all the gains we made would be for nothing. In the southwestern part of Manitoba, our own bible-belt has the lowest rates of vaccination. It’s a combination of misplaced faith (trust God), distrust of government, and the internet rabbit holes plaguing everyone else. (Misinformation, one of many pandemics going around besides the obvious one.) However, something unique happened.
Business after business said masks are required, even in many restaurants. Universities and colleges not only mandating masks but also mandating vaccines. The email from the college president popped into my inbox announcing staff and students on campus will require vaccines, with dates for first and second doses for those unvaccinated. We kept our previous protocols, giving some measure of protection, but that message made me cry with relief. On top of that, three major post-secondary institutions, including one I work at, released the news that masks and vaccines are mandated on campus on the same day.
I watched as people at the gym kept their masks on, including me. Even at Polo Park, one of the larger shopping malls in the city, I saw maskless people in the minority. The movie theatre gave me pause as less than five people had masks, even in a limited capacity space, but my friend said, “You are lucky if you see a mask in Alberta.” (She is often the only person and, yes, told Covid was a lie.)
I almost want to replay that day with Alan Silvestri’s ‘Portals’ from Avengers Endgame in the background. A fourth wave was here, and places basically said, “Fine, if you as our elected leaders will not lead, then we will set the example.” Well, Premier Thranduil and our Public Health doc announced masks are once again mandated. They got the Delta modelling and gulped. Every school division in the city now has a mask mandate and vaccines required for staff before coming back in September.
Confused reading it? Imagine living here.
At the moment, we have masks back on in indoor spaces per new public health orders. Premier Thranduil’s party will have a leadership race with two women running head-to-head. (Not good news here. I wouldn’t trust either woman with a 10 foot poll.) Oh, and we have a federal election on September 30.
See why I detour into Richard Armitage, Marvel, Star Wars, and anything else to give my brain a break? I have not even talked about being back on campus.