Sunday April 4, 2021 [During the COVID Pandemic] ~ VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Leadership during the COVID pandemic brings a particularly high assignment to saying just the right thing on Easter. This is a four-day long weekend for many — a welcome reprieve from the heavy load that most of us carry at this time. For Christians it is a day when the victory of life over death is celebrated.
Today on Easter in 2021 — in this second year of the COVID pandemic (officially declared as a health emergency in BC) and with many of us perhaps not realizing at top of mind that BC remains in a State of Emergency (giving the provincial government sweeping powers to do what they need to do to keep British Columbians safe, presently to April 13, 2021 under a routine of two-week renewals), this morning around 7:30 am, Premier John Horgan issued the following official statement in honour of Easter:
“Easter is being celebrated by Christians in British Columbia and around the world this weekend.
“During these challenging times, we are reminded of the power of love, humility and self-sacrifice as exemplified by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Easter is a time of joy and hope for Christians – and there is much to be hopeful for this spring. The finish line is in sight, but we need to keep working hard to protect our loved ones and communities.
“Many people will still be spending this holiday away from their family and friends, and I want to thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to help keep communities safe over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult, but we can look forward to better days soon.
“To everyone celebrating Easter this weekend, I wish you a safe, blessed and joyful holiday.”
One year deeper into COVID:
Premier Horgan’s message last year at Easter 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic said “these are extraordinary times, and Easter celebrations will look different”.
Last year the Premier articulated: “Instead of gathering in churches or for large family dinners, people will find ways to observe Easter while also protecting their health and the health of those close to them.”
Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry found herself having to rescind the relaxation of indoor religious gatherings, being faced with the rising tsunami of COVID test-positive cases that we heard about briefly this weekend in a statistical release. COVID cases have topped the charts: 1,072 COVID cases yesterday and 1,018 the day before.
As of April 3 there have been 102,970 confirmed cases of COVID in BC. As of April 1 there have been 1,463 deaths in BC (over 23,000 deaths across Canada).
April 2 was Good Friday (no stats in BC), and yesterday’s stats were bare-bones due to a fully understandable day off for a lot of public health staff. After this long weekend, the onslaught of number (and life impacts) continues.
Hopeful for teachers at Easter:
If there is a specific area of hope this Easter, it’s that teachers will next be front in line as essential workers to be offered the COVID vaccines.
Given that children can not yet be vaccinated (awaiting approval from Health Canada on any COVID vaccine product being approved for use in children), protecting teachers is at least a double-barreled gun against COVID spread: protect teachers, students and families while protecting the continued provision of public education which is one of Horgan’s top driving mantras in his sociopolitical philosophy.
Over the long weekend, more potential COVID-19 exposures were announced by schools in the south Vancouver Island area. That includes a middle school in SD62 Sooke/WestShore and two schools (middle and secondary) in SD61 Greater Victoria. Details about school exposures in Island Health are posted online.
The BC Teachers Federation has not posted anything on their BCTF Twitter feed since March 30 — their last official statement there reminding teachers of BC’s latest mask mandate for schools (required at all times for students in Grades 4 to 12).
BC Centre for Disease Control (COVID data)
Public Health Agency of Canada (COVID data)