Premier Jason Kenney has come out of hiding after a holiday and he has seen a huge COVID-19 shadow.
Fortunately, he has responded — and hopefully it isn't too little, too late resulting in potentially further restriction which could hurt Alberta and Okotoks area businesses.
The Province's decision to mandates masks be worn in all indoor public places was a 'no-brainer' to use the words of Dr. Adam Vyse.
Thankfully, the decision was made by those who had to make it -- the provincial government.
It won't be up to Okotoks town councillors, whose expertise is bylaws, planning and not having to make crucial medical decisions which they may not have the proper guidance.
By making it mandatory across the province, it means there won't be patchwork across Alberta — Innisfail says no masks, Okotoks says masks, and if you drive through Airdrie between the two, who knows what you have to do.
The Province should have taken the next step and made masks mandatory at schools. That patchwork is happening right here in Okotoks. Foothills School Division is saying students have to wear masks, while Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools continues to take its direction from Alberta Health Services.
You can be guaranteed both divisions are taking heat for their decisions — they can thank the Province for that.
It might also be time to put in a vaccination passport. It's already happening in the private sector. The Flames and Stamps will want proof of vaccination or some type of testing in the future, and you can bet some nightclubs will too in the future, similar to what was done at Nashville North for the Stampede.
Sure, there is new provincial $100 incentive to get people to take a shot, but there's nothing like the incentive of not being able to do something to motivate people to do something.
And it's still a personal choice. Just like a real passport, you don't have to get one, you just can't travel as much if you don't.
Hopefully, the masking mandate will be enough to slow the curve of COVID. However further restrictions may be needed or the long COVID shadow will loom even longer.