The sun is going to shine this week in Okotoks and hopefully it will brighten the faces of area businesses. Restaurant patios and personal services like hairstylists and others opened for limited business as the Province kicked in its first stage of the Open For Summer program.
It is much needed for Okotoks area entrepreneurs as they have faced a yo-yo like 15 months of open, closed, open, kind of open as Alberta tries to come through the COVID pandemic.
The closures were necessary evils as COVID-19 numbers threatened to compromise the province’s health-care system. And in Okotoks, the numbers were some of the highest in proportion to its population in the province over the last month or so.
Fortunately, the COVID numbers have come down dramatically.
Those numbers coming down are due to businesses making the sacrifice, Albertans toeing the line for the most part, and not insignificantly, people rolling up their arms and getting vaccinated.
Further openings hinge on vaccinations and Alberta is tentatively scheduled for Stage 2 openings — movies, bigger gatherings, sit-down dining — on June 10.
Albertans still need to stay the course.
However, now the course has a bit more variety and is not a debilitating scenario of lockdowns, not seeing loved ones and the anguish that COVID has caused over the past 15 months.
While sunny days aren’t quite here, for the first time in a while there is optimism.
The Dawgs are going to be playing again, more events locally are expected to open up and the Calgary Stampede will go on — despite the Stampede's disappointing announcement chuckwagon drivers won’t be participating this year.
So enjoy the next few sunny days on a deck and remember better times seem to be on the way thanks to Albertans and businesses' efforts.