Braid: The daily news is dire but there’s hope for a brighter spring in Alberta

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Most encouraging, there was no infection bump over the holiday season despite official fears.

Limiting our social lives only to immediate household members, cancelling family visits and dinners, was surely one of the hardest things Albertans have ever been asked to do.

But most people did it, and they’ll have a reward — an earlier lifting of restrictions than seemed possible in December.

Now there’s a vaccine shortage. This failure is on Ottawa, period.

The Americans, despite their near-collapse in COVID control, have access to several times more doses per capita than Canada does.

And Israel has by far the highest vaccination rate on planet Earth. The country paid a big premium to get priority delivery of shipments.

That may eventually save Israel a huge amount of money as the economy and people’s lives return to normal more quickly.

But even though Canada is far from the head of the pack, in Alberta we can realistically be optimistic about spring.

Longer, warmer days mean people spend more time outside where transmission is less likely.

Such viruses tend to fade in spring, just as COVID-19 did after the first wave last year. That made us too relaxed going into fall.

Vaccination will proceed despite the maddening delays, moving on to older people in the general population, and then to everyone who wants the shot.

As the vulnerable are protected from the disease, pressure on the health system will begin to fall sharply.

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