Earlier reopening of the province to step 3

The government announced today an earlier reopening of the province to step 3. The news did not come as a surprise given the successful vaccination rollout and decreased hospitalization rates. In several media interviews I expressed that although the five day advanced reopening is not a major concern, the lack of capacity restrictions in indoor activities is. For example, the requirement for a two meter distance between tables at a restaurant – without percentage limit of patrons – will be difficult to monitor and enforce. In the face of a dominating Delta variant and an even more aggressive Lambda variant (originating in Peru) in our doorsteps, having unvaccinated persons in large tables drinking and laughing could quickly lead to a fourth wave.

Fast-spreading variants will find the unvaccinated Ontarians. Government, and each of us, must drive vaccination rates even higher. The reason we will keep seeing worse and worse new variants is the dismal vaccination rate across most of world. Viruses run rampant and continue to mutate. The boomerang of vaccine nationalism in “have-to-countries” such as Canada is now hitting us back in the face. Countries such as Canada could have, and still can, do much, much more to help vaccination in disadvantaged parts of the world. Instead, they have allowed COVAX to fail. It feels like a breath of fresh air to see real initiative coming from President Joe Biden, but where is Canada?

Take action on global vaccine access: Sign an Action Alert calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure global vaccine access. Let’s also make sure we urge Prime Minister Trudeau to match President Biden’s commitments to COVAX.