Omicron- too Close or not to close, that is the question

By Louise Smith

At the time of the writing of this article on Sunday night, the case level associated with Omicron is taking off in the Townships, in Quebec, in Canada, and in the world. Yes, COVID fatigue has settled in, and people were hoping to have this Christmas more of a “normal” celebration event. However, the virus is not allowing this to happen. Last Thursday’s news conference was full of dire warnings and new measures which will have taken effect as of this Monday. With the rapid rise, faster than in any of the previous waves, more measures may soon be added. No one wants to return to a lockdown, but it is already what is happening in the Netherlands in Europe.

Last Thursday a hockey tournament in progress at Massey-Vanier was halted. Students had to remain in class for fourth period. Administrators went to classes to announce that Friday the school was going to close preventatively because an Omicron case had been confirmed on the French side. Students were advised to take home books for on line classes if necessary. Premier Legault has announced that high school students across the province will stay at home until Jan. 10. Massey-Vanier is scheduled to open this Monday and Tuesday. It would have made more sense to keep the students out until Jan. 10. In fact, all students would have been better off to have started the Christmas holidays earlier to be on the safe side.

Elementary schools usually have a gathering in the last two days before Christmas. Sometimes it is a Christmas dinner or a pancake breakfast or an assembly to sing Christmas songs. Hopefully some thought has been taken to reconsider the possibility of creating super spreader events just before the Christmas holidays.

Some reports have the Omicron variant as no worse than a cold but hospitalizations and deaths are being attributed to this variant too. Restaurants and other hospitality venues are reeling over the new restrictions. Some businesses may find it hard to weather another partial or full shut down.

The Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 lasted two years and it was three waves. March 2022 will mark the second year anniversary of the shutdown that happened as of March 13. It seems safe to say that COVID 19 will at least last that long and more than likely longer!

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