Hinshaw: Albertans can prevent COVID-19’s second wave by working together

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COVID-19 is not going anywhere. But we have the power to avoid a steep acceleration of cases, instead seeing a consistent “slow burn,” or a series of smaller ripples. This is in our hands. How is this possible? I believe that the best way to avoid a second wave is through the power of our collective action.

The good news is that we have proof this is possible, that by acting quickly we can reduce spread without requiring more drastic measures that can threaten other elements of peoples’ health and well-being. In July, we began to see a sharp rise in cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions. I called this rise a “call to action” for Alberta, and our province responded. We saw cases and hospitalizations level off and decline in early August. A second wave did not occur, and Albertans are the reason why.

We accomplished that by working together, and I believe that we can once again.

I have the privilege of being the great-granddaughter of settlers to Alberta. I know the value of hard work and independence. I also know the value of coming together as a community to support those in need. From barn-raising bees to delivering casseroles to a sick neighbour, this is part of the heritage of Alberta. Beyond settlers, the wisdom of Indigenous peoples in Alberta also points to the deep importance of community and our interrelationship with each other.

Part of this wisdom is honouring our elders, and protecting their health and well-being. This wisdom is also echoed in the many traditions of newcomers to Alberta, where family and community connections are celebrated and foundational.

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