For the past seven months, COVID-19 restrictions and safety directives have been a fact of life in British Columbia and across Canada.
Elsewhere in the world, measures to slow the spread of this pandemic have been in place much longer.
Non-medical masks are commonplace now, and physical distancing means people do not stand as close together as they did a year ago.
These preventative measures will likely be with us for some time to come.
Complying with these measures could be part of the reason why our COVID-19 statistics in Canada are much lower than in other parts of the world.
And yet, more than 175,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 9,500 have died.
There is no proven cure for this disease, and while researchers are working to develop a vaccine, none has been approved for the public.
This is why it is important to take the precautions to slow the spread of the virus.
And it is also why recent anti-mask protests and demonstrations are concerning.
Last week, an anti-mask rally was held near two Kelowna schools.
Anti-mask demonstrations have also been held elsewhere in the Okanagan Valley, in other parts of British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada.
And there are some who are distributing misinformation about COVID-19 and the severity of this pandemic.
Such behaviour is irresponsible at best and dangerous at worst.
The COVID-19 statistics from British Columbia, from Canada and from around the world show the number of new cases has been increasing in recent months.
The information has been compiled by medical experts.
The medical advice and recommendations are coming from people who are trained in how to control the spread of diseases.
These voices need to be heard, especially now as the number of new COVID-19 cases is increasing.
The restrictions and safety directives are not necessarily pleasant, but they will remain necessary as long as this pandemic is with us.
— Black Press