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Good riddance to 2021, but will 2022 be any better?

Is it safe to come out from under the bed yet?

Has someone checked to make sure 2021 has left?

No, 2021 was not the happiest year anywhere, I think it’s safe to say. COVID was with us all year, constantly changing its form. We had weather of the most extreme forms. There were more rumblings of war over Ukraine.

But now it’s 2022, and it’s not getting off to a great start. Schools in B.C. are postponing, (for most students) their return from the Christmas break. The Omicron variant is pushing the number of infections through the roof, but thankfully not the number of deaths.

And you may have missed it, but in Friday’s media conference, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that people who test positive for the Omicron variant only have to isolate for five days, instead of the previous 10-day period.

For five days after that, they are supposed to wear a mask and avoid gatherings, but they won’t have to be in isolation.

So that may be a sign that COVID is slowing down, at least in severity. It’s a little too late for the World Junior Hockey Championships, but all the information at this point indicates the organizers did not have a real plan in place to combat COVID.

We are also finding that, as so often in history, people have an uncanny ability to find ways to work around obstacles, especially with something like COVID.

Schools using remote learning on a regular basis at times, and then on an as-needed basis. Businesses and other groups using video-links to hold meetings that had to be held but couldn’t be done in person.

Even things like sports groups coming up with bubble protocols so some events could take place.. The series of curling events held in Calgary early last year went off incredibly well. It was tough on some of the people who were in the bubble from Day 1 until the end, but they had teammates or co-workers they could associate with inside the bubble and, again, the availability of video chatting to keep in touch with friends and family outside the bubble.

Every time an event like that is held successfully, it provides lessons for future events. The trick is for the organizers of those future events is to not say, “how can we save money by getting rid of some of the ‘unnecessary’ precautions?”, but instead say, “how can we make tweaks to what they did for our particular situation?”

As long as event organizers proceed with caution and intelligence, most events should be able to be held in 2022.

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