Just A little More

By: Laura Steiner
As I write this, we are two days shy of 17 months of being in and out of lockdowns, rules, and limits. In Ontario, 72% of adults over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated.  In Halton, approximately 74% of eligible people have had the two doses it takes to be fully immunized.
Schools are expected to reopen in September to in-person classes.  Businesses are already reopening with some limits such as screenings, mandatory face coverings, and hand sanitizer upon entry to slow the spread. People are starting to see friends, and reunite with family. A new normal is on its way.
But it’s not here yet.  Experts say we need at least 90% of Canadians to be fully vaccinated before herd immunity kicks in.  Halton remains below that mark, as does Ontario. A fourth wave appears on the way driven by the delta variant.
Here in Halton there are slow signs of another wave.  The positivity rate overall is at 1% for the last week in July (25-31).    The effective reproduction number sits at 1.2 as of August 9.  It means that every person testing positive for COVID-19 will infect at least one other person.  It’s key for monitoring spread, because if it increases above 1, it means cases go up as well.
We need a little more to keep it under control.  A few more willing to take the first dose, sitting at 82% uptake.  A few more to take the second dose (73%).  And the Region of Halton has made it so easy.  Walk-in hours at the FirstOntario Arts Centre for 10am-1pm.  A clinic at St. Francis Xavier Secondary school host walk-in hours from 3pm-6pm.  Over 100 pharmacies in the Region are offering appointments as well.
For those who have already had the vaccines we need a little more awareness.  Awareness that there are still rules regarding face-coverings and keeping our distance from one another.  Still hands to be washed, and fist pumps instead of hugs to be had.
There’s been a lot of loss this year, and “a little more” might be the straw that breaks someone.  But it’s something we need to do if we want to resume living.