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Blacktop Blockheads not needed on the road to restarting B.C.

Last week, the province laid out a very clear roadmap for how we can get out of most of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Now it’s just a question of seeing how well British Columbians follow the map.

Those of you who know how often I talk about Blacktop Blockheads won’t be surprised to hear I have concerns, especially with the people in the Lower Mainland.

Every time we in the North have had to follow the same restrictions as people in the Lower Mainland, even when we were doing a good job with controlling COVID numbers, I couldn’t help but think we should have followed the lead of Ontario in one regard.

They separated the province into different regions, realizing that conditions in Metro Toronto were not the same as in Kenora or Dryden. When the number of cases in different regions showed different paths, the government simply imposed different restrictions in the different regions.

Somehow, once again, it seems the provincial government couldn’t see beyond Hope when it came to imposing restrictions in B.C.

Now, though, they have put together a very simple plan, basing the steps on dates, but more so on numbers of things like vaccinations and new cases. For instance, the next step could be taken as early as June 15 IF the numbers of new cases and people in hospital are declining and IF 60 percent of people have received their first vaccination. If those numbers aren’t met, at best nothing changes from where we are now. At worst, if the numbers are increasing again, we go back to where we were a couple of weeks ago.

Step 3 could happen as early as July 1, again depending on the numbers. That would be the one most people might be looking at, since there will be no restrictions on numbers of people for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, although masks would still be recommended. There would also be a chance for some fairs and festivals to take place, as long as they had a COVID Safety Plan in place. Indoor and outdoor sporting events would be allowed a limited number of spectators. Bingo halls, casinos and nightclubs would all be allowed to open at limited capacity.

And finally, Step 4, which could be as early as Sept. 7, would see things in B.C. back to close to where we were at the same time in 2019. Businesses and sports competitions would still be required to have a Safety Plan, but that is something they have gotten used to.

So it’s quite simple, people. Follow the map and we’ll arrive at a good place in a few months. Don’t follow the map, and we’ll be stuck where we are – with no tow truck in sight.

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