We’re (almost) in the same boat here in the US. Omicron is waning so it’s full steam ahead even with the new variant on the horizon. But it seems clear we’re not getting to herd via vaccination. Antis have precluded that. So it’ll just be more of the same when a new variant hits. Massive spread, 2500 deaths per day, overstressed hospitals & staff, more folks with long Covid. Government just isn’t nimble enough to deal with this, they need the buy-in from regular folks and we’re not getting that in sufficient numbers. Each state has different and rapidly changing rules which only increases confusion (and ire). Add to the whole thing the enormous pressures of Capitalism to keep the economy going and it’s just a big mess.
I’m feeling pretty safe, though. Mostly because I never leave my house. HAHAHA! 😭
I went out yesterday and remembered that the mask requirement had been lifted - but I wore my mask anyway. It’s too soon! Most of the people I saw were also wearing masks, but I don’t know whether it was because they wanted to or they thought they still had to. In the store, some of the employees were masked. In any case, I felt anxious and couldn’t wait to return home and get way from everyone! I suppose that feeling will eventually pass, but for now I will keep wearing my mask.
You can't really trust most of the numbers concerning covid in Ontario at least. They've stopped keeping accurate numbers a while ago. We've stopped recording any numbers for cases in schools. We've restricted testing so severely that the case numbers are about 10× more than the recorded number. Hospitalisations are still fairly accurate but even those have been "ajusted" to a lower number. One of the ways to gauge prevalence of covid is analysis of wastewater and that is showing an uptake.
Bottom line - I'm wearing my N95 mask when in uncontrollable situations indoors (like going into stores), keeping my social circle extremely small (my sister and her husband, Dan's brother, and one other pair of trusted isolated friends), not going to places like cinemas, theatres, hockey arenas and indoor dining, ordering the bulk of my groceries online for delivery, etc. In other words, pretty much like I have been doing since I've been vaccinated.
I'll wait until I feel it is safer for higher risk people like me before changing my personal protection efforts. Maybe by the summer we might eat on a patio, but we'll have to see what's happening and judge it. Yesterday I did venture into a hardware store to buy leaf bags for spring cleanup and everyone was masked except one old biddy. So pretty much the way it was before making rules were relaxed.
"You're going into the water... short-arse!" - Sherlock
The thing is when you don't test and people don't go to the hospital when feeling unwell with covid symptoms then there's no way to gauge how widespread it is. Ontario is extremely restrictive as to who can get PCR tested (unless you pay $$$ to have it done privately). We do have widespread RAT tests (Dan and I have 20 tests strips at home right now) but they aren't as accurate as the PCR test.
That 10× figure I heard was from the official medical officer of health for our region. So I think he should know just how inaccurate the official numbers are because he's the one in charge of compiling the covid stats.
Another scary thing is they've stopped listing private business outbreaks all of a sudden. So suddenly schools and businesses just don't get reported in the covid stats! And updates are now done only once a week instead of daily. So info is out of date when you hear it. I used to check the numbers daily but now it's useless. It's like reading a history book! That doesn't tell you about the day to day operations at the front lines of a battle!
On the bright side although greatly scaled back, they are still doing vaccinations and our area is at 80% for people 5 years and older. Although boosters are only around 50%.
"You're going into the water... short-arse!" - Sherlock
The local tv news last night was out in the community asking people how they felt about the masking mandate being lifted. I had to laugh because they managed to find one person with each of common opinions - I’m going to keep wearing it, it’s nice not to having to wear it, I think schools should keep wearing them. And one genius said that the masks were never necessary anyway unless you were sick! Thankfully, the reporter then said that many infected people showed no symptoms.
From what I’ve heard, the current common variant is very contagious (as contagious as measles) and also a bit more virulent than the last couple, so infection rates and sickness have ticked up again. Plus it seems to spread even to people who’ve had it before or who have been vaccinated too. That, combined with the shift in attitudes with a lot of people no longer masking, bothering to avoid crowds, means things will probably heat up again.
It’s not all bad - many places have more readily available tests, so it’s easier to find one if you don’t feel well or think you’ve been exposed; there are much better treatments available than there were 2 years ago, etc.
And I think the same basic advice still applies- stay up to date on vaccines (since that still lowers the chance of serious illness even with the current variant), properly wear a good mask when gathering with others indoors, avoid crowds, wash your hands, don’t touch your face etc.
Take care. Or as Roger Allam’s character in Endeavor says “Mind how you go”
Hi jbc! That‘s so nice of you to ask! Thank you 👍🏻 I‘m feeling a lot better now. I‘m out of bed and my appetite and my strength came back. What bothers me is my blocked nose. Glad that I don‘t have to cough. I have Covid for the first time (I got vaccinated three times last year). It could really be much worse.