Here in Alberta, Premier Kenney’s laid out an ambitious schedule for a nearly full re-opening; one that just happens to coincide nicely with the timing of the Stampede. If all goes to plan, the Alberta should be pretty much wide open just a week or so before the doors to the Stampede open.
And honestly, I think it might be okay. Goodness knows Premier Kenney’s late and half-hearted reactions don’t give me much of a precedent to avoid being pessimistic about these things, but by putting vaccination targets clearly in the plan for when re-opening can happen, this plan might actually work out. It also provides impetus for Albertans to overcome their vaccine hesitancy, as the currently unstated alternative is that things remain locked down much longer over the summer months.
As with anything, there are some reasons for concern, people with only a single dose, the only vaccine metric being used, are apparently still quite vulnerable to the new Indian variant of COVID-19, and the full re-opening has no requirement for hospital occupancy to be going down, or even remaining level. So it could be that we open up in July for Stampede even as variant driven cases start driving the hospitalization rate back up, leading to yet again another lockdown in August—potentially with the knowledge that we enabled it to spread to other parts of the world through the Stampede Tourism.
But I’m trying not to be pessimistic. Maybe everything will be just fine. The University of Alberta is already coming up with a rapid testing procedure for the Indian variant. And who knows how many people are going to want to travel to Calgary during COVID-19 anyway. It seems odd to be equating “just fine” with “nobody shows up for the party” but that’s the world we’re in these days.
In the meantime, this week, we have a return of “Minds We Meet” where we’re interviewing student Dustin Karpovich, a fiction writer and “huge gamer” who’s into survival horror games, and one more name to go on my list for when I eventually try to create the Gaming AU Student Society—or GAUSS. It’s been in a back corner of my mind for years, and I’ve got a few students identified to approach about it. After all, AU isn’t a good venue for traditional college teams, but gaming is getting more and more popular, and I expect COVID-19 will only give it a bigger boost in the near future. If this sounds like a good idea to you, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, who knows, a few more people might be all the impetus I need to actually do something.
Also, I want to remind you that we do have a free email subscription list, when I let you know when the magazine has been fully release each week. If you’re not on it already, it might be time to consider subscribing as there just might be a subscribers only contest in it in the near future. Just something I heard somewhere.