The province’s roadmap to reopening is out there and it is one that a Saskatoon intensive care specialist thinks is a very positive one.
Dr. Hassan Masri says the plan calls on the general population to do its part which is what we have been told since the pandemic started.
“The message previously was for us to adhere to the rules and regulations that were put out, but we knew from day one vaccines were the solution and the ultimate way out of this pandemic.” Masri said. “Now with more vaccines coming in over the next few weeks, I think the responsibility falls on the people of Saskatchewan so go get that vaccine and move on so we can get back to as close as normal as can be.”
Masri says the light at the end of the tunnel is visible and people who may not have seen that a few months ago can now see it but some more work is needed.
“I think when the vaccine was made available for the first time late last year, people were hesitant about the vaccines and its safety. Fast forward to May and people see 400,000 in Saskatchewan has had a vaccine. The percentage of those questioning the vaccines is decreasing so it is important now for those people to take their belief in the vaccine to reality and get their shot. The reality is the phases the government has given us will happen if we get the vaccine. It is the way many jurisdictions in Europe and the United States have done it and it seems to be working.
While there are a lot of positives, Masri does admit the situation in Alberta is a little worrisome because cases could spread across the border.
“There are two threats to the plan. The first one is people become complacent when it comes to the vaccine. Sometimes when the numbers improve, people may get complacent and not get the vaccine, but Alberta is a big threat as well because there are a lot of connections between the two provinces.” Masri said. “I am worried about what is happening there, so it is important not to confuse the reopening plan with completely leaving public health orders and ignoring them. We can only get to phase one of the plan if we vaccinate people and have manageable caseloads. It just emphasizes that we have to do our best here so that we don’t put an obstacle in our own way. We can’t let our guard down.”
Masri says what we must be clear on is that vaccines are working. He says Saskatchewan people are stepping up to the plate and doing what has to be done and he hopes the trends we are seeing will continue as the age eligibility continues to drop.