With a new influx of restrictions set down by the province, Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given suggests residents keep their eye on the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Given says the news about vaccines, including the official Health Canada approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, presents more than a glimmer of hope.
“While we shouldn’t underestimate the challenge in getting those vaccines to every Canadian, we should appreciate the fact that the development of the vaccine has happened more quickly than anyone could have imagined.”
Given says it’s also a good time to revisit some of the skills built during the first phase of the pandemic. That means reaching out to family and friends via text, or a good old-fashioned phone call.
“Continue to reach out and connect with people, particularly the strong ones. Sometimes the people you may least expect would have a challenge with this could be facing a real emotional struggle,” he says. “There is an end in sight, we will make it through this together, and all that is required is for us to have some humanity, and to look out for one another.”
On Tuesday, the province announced an Alberta-wide mandatory mask requirement, as well as a ban on all indoor and outdoor social gatherings. Starting Sunday, restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges, and cafes will be closed for in-person service only, with take-out, curbside, and home delivery still permitted. Personal & wellness services such as hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlours, massage businesses will also be forced to close as of 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. The restrictions are expected to be in place for no less than a month.