A few fellow bloggers I follow often have a Gratitude Sunday post; I thought maybe I’d give it a try considering all that I have to be grateful for this week. Aside from the over-the-top joy of seeing both families of kids and grandkids making the now-open-border trek from Ontario to New Brunswick and other parts of the Maritimes, our provincial government has decided that we are safe enough to remove all restrictions, with due caution of course. And in part we have President Biden to thank for doing his part in keeping us safe.
We’re Going Green. This was the headline in our local paper the other day. Of course, this headline could mean one of at least three things, all of which make my heart sing.
It could mean that our province is going to become majority Green Party supporters. That would be quite the announcement. We’re not quite there yet, although we’ve been making headway every election.
It could mean that our province is going to embrace strict climate change legislation, including fossil fuel restrictions and increased recycling directives, especially with respect to the prolific use of disposable plastics. Wouldn’t that be something to be grateful for?! But that’s not what it means either.
What Going Green means in this instance is that our chief health officer and our premier, both of whom have worked incredibly hard to keep strict measures in place and keep us safe throughout the pandemic, have decided that, with 81.5% of eligible New Brunswickers (12+) having at least one dose and 64.3% of eligible NBers having had two doses of the vaccine, and with virtually no new cases for the past few weeks and only 6 active cases in the province, we can open up. Starting Saturday, mask restrictions will be up to individual establishments and institutions. Starting Saturday, social distancing won’t be a mandated requirement, nor will restrictions on crowd sizes. Our Playhouse and theatres can go from 35% occupancy, with tons of space between everyone, to sitting next to, well, everyone. Possibly or probably without masks. Yikes!
This will require quite a bit of mental adjustment on the part of many of us, while undoubtedly requiring none whatsoever on the part of others. The good news is that we live in a part of the world where wearing masks has been accepted without incident, and I fully expect that many of us will happily continue to wear them for some time; after all, it’s our right to wear them if we want to! This wholesale change will be intriguing to watch unfold.
Unbeknownst to most of us, it appears that President Biden has been paying attention to our situation in Canada vis a vis the U.S. So when he realized this past week that, although Canada would be opening their border to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug 9, the average daily new cases in the U.S. was 124.5/million people whereas the average daily new cases in Canada was only 10.3/million people, he realized that if he opened his border in parallel he could be potentially exposing all kinds of Canadians to the virus raging in his country. What if Canadian visitors – shoppers and tourists – brought the delta variant back to Canada? He wouldn’t be able to live with himself. And for that thoughtfulness, we Canadians thank him.
Well, perhaps not the American tourist destinations near the border, dying for Canadian tourists to return. And maybe not all the American shopkeepers near the border, who similarly long for Canadians to return, even with our reduced dollars. And certainly not family members who continue to be separated by the border. But, hey, starting August 9 Americans can reunite with their family members on the Canadian side of the border. Just make sure you’re doubly vaccinated. And while you’re here, please feel free to stop by our shops, hotels, and restaurants. All courtesy of American COVID policy. Protecting Canadians. And for that I am grateful! 😉