A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted August 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Here we are, observing the 1st day of August with the summer too rapidly racing away.
And here is a question.
With Canada-U.S. border communities like Niagara now little more a week away from that August 9th date Canada’s federal government said it would open our border bridges to fully vaccinated Americans, the question is – will that August 9th re-opening date hold or will Canada’s Trudeau government have to walk it back?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – as indecisive as he so often is – will likely have to answer that question in the hours and days following this long weekend, if not sooner.
The reasons are pretty plain for anyone who follows legitimate venues for news, as opposed to those that peddle garbage that has little or nothing to do with facts.
In the two weeks since Trudeau made that August 9th announcement, statistics in the United States – real numbers and not the trash shoveled out by Tucker Carlson to his millions of followers on Fox News – show that that number of cases of COVID-19 have multiplied four fold and show signs that before we even get into the fall season, the U.S. could find itself locked down in a fourth wave of a pandemic that has already killed more than 600,000 people.
Most of this COVID-19 resurgence, according to the observations of some of the world’s best infectious disease experts (and not by quacks like Dr. Phil and a seemingly endless parade of anti-science, ‘it’s my body, and I can do what I want’ libertarians, can be attributed to a far more infectious Delta variant and countless unvaccinated individuals who serve as fertile ground for this killer plague to live on.
Further to that, we are beginning to see an increase in COVID cases, also attributed mostly to those who are unvaccinated and serving as magnets for the Delta ,in Ontario and other provinces across Canada, trigging speculation among health professionals that we could be in for a fourth wave that rolls us back to more restrictions and lockdowns.
There is already accumulating evidence in the United States that the Delta variant spreading through populations of unvaccinated people can “break through” the protective shields of those who are fully vaccinated.
As for the Trudeau government’s effort to reassure us with the news that it will only allow those Americans who can show proof that they are fully vaccinated cross, there have already been reports that Americans have been caught trying to enter Canada with counterfeit vaccination papers.
If the border is swung open this August 9th to American visitors, how many with phony vaccinated documents will slip through? If the Canadian government says it can’t find a way of walking and chewing gum at the same time with respect to issuing something akin to vaccine passports before the end of this year, how is it going to be in a position, within a matter of days now, to properly scrutinize vaccine papers at the border?
My guess is that it can’t. And my fear is that swinging the border bridges open so wide to American visitors has more to do with bowing to pressure from border area mayors and other politicians who want Americans back here to spend their money – potential health risks be damned.
Given all of that and more, I continue to find myself siding with Niagara, Ontario’s current acting Medical Health Chief, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, who found himself being verbally flogged this past July by the likes of Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati and others at the Niagara Regional Council for daring to publicly express his concerns about opening the border crossings too soon.
Should the Trudeau government decide to walk back its August 9th re-opening date, my one hope would be that it consider making provisions to allow Americans in who have close relatives here or valued properties they wish to check in on. There must be some way that even a government that can’t seem to figure out how to put a vaccine passport system together before the end of the year can do that.
As for the totality of the pandemic nightmare we still find ourselves in, I go back to something that Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s leading infectious disease experts, said about a month ago – “If everyone who could get vaccinated got vaccinated, we could have crushed this thing!”
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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