February 2nd was Groundhog Day, but for many of us, it has felt like Groundhog Day for almost an entire year.
If you didn’t see the news, Wiarton Willie didn’t see his shadow, which means an early spring and renewed hope for brighter days ahead.
While the coming weeks will continue to be a trial, there has been positive progress in our fight to gain the upper hand on COVID-19. The development of safe and effective vaccines at a record pace is the most important scientific discovery of our time. The arrival of a limited number of doses has meant our long-term care residents and staff and our health care workers can be given protection as the first priority.
We need to redouble our efforts to procure more vaccines in an environment of fierce international demand, and have the infrastructure in place to administer their delivery competently and efficiently. Our testing and contact tracing needs to be strengthened with all available resources. As schools are allowed to re-open, the safety of our students and staff must be assured.
One of the more surprising pieces of news in recent days has been that up to a third of Ontarians are completely ignoring the advice of our public health officials. While I do not believe this to be the case in Wellington-Halton Hills, the behaviour on the part of some is irresponsible in the extreme, and only serves to prolong the pandemic. But it is also a reminder to all orders of government that we must always be open and truthful, and communicate messages that can be understood by everyone.
We will get through this, but it will take time. It will take the efforts of every citizen. It will test us all in unimaginable ways. It will not be easy, but it will be worthwhile. We must all do our part.
Above all, the mentality of divisive politics and the pursuit of scoring political points must be set aside. Politicians should—and in my experience, can—work together, in the broader interest of the people we serve.