You knew as soon as you saw who was standing at the podium for the COVID-19 update on March 22.
It was Health Minister Tyler Shandro and not Premier Jason Kenney, and the results were predictable -- there would not be a move into Step 3 of the Path Forward program which would lessen COVID-19 restrictions, allowing for greater group activities.
Although Alberta is below the threshold of 300 hospitalizations to move on to Step 3 at 280 as of March 22, Shandro said the decision not to take the step was due to the trend of increasing numbers of daily new cases in Alberta as well as increasing hospitalization.
It's disheartening news and Albertans will have to wait to do such things as go for the group run with the Big Rock Runners on Saturday mornings, or maybe some adult basketball. More importantly, it means a business like the Okotoks Cinemas must remain close before it can open its doors to provide much needed entertainment beyond streaming the Flight Attendant.
It would have also meant more group sports for youths and the opportunity for people to once attend church in-person during these difficult times.
Disappointing, but the bright side it dispels accusations the UCP is not listening to it's health experts. It would have been the easy -- and the popular move -- to take the next step forward.
The government made the difficult choice to stay the course until vaccinations (Insert required blame the feds for not handing out vaccines here), and following the proper protocols bring the numbers down.
It was a tough, prudent choice made while listening to experts.
Let's hope by following the course, an announcement in the near future will mean the ability to go to church, play a basketball game or go to a Mel Brooks' marathon to get some laughs at the Okotoks Cinemas.