Sask. microbiologist warns against people being 'complacent' as vaccine rolls out
SASKATOON -- News of a COVID-19 vaccine coming to the province was an early Christmas gift for Dr. Joesph Blondeau.
“Even though it’s in limited quantities right now, it is a light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel,” said Blondeau, provincial lead for clinical microbiology with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Despite the vaccine being a positive in his eyes, he worries the public could start relaxing on rules and regulations.
“I think that we’ve done a good job communicating that this is the start of the vaccine program, and there are many, many weeks that have to come and go before we have enough vaccine to immunize everyone in the province who wants to receive the vaccine,” he told CTV.
“There is a real concern that because the vaccine has been introduced in the province, folks will become complacent saying ‘its over, we don’t have to worry about it anymore’ and that’s certainly not the case.”
He said people, including those who work in health care, have COVID-19 fatigue.
“We’ve been living this for the last 10 months non-stop. We all have to dig in a little bit deeper and continue to do those things that protect us and our family members, and those around us, from transmitting the virus,” he said.
Daniel Ford Beavis, one of the owners of O’Shea’s Irish Pub, said that he had similar concerns about the public starting to slip when it comes to COVID-19 regulations and restrictions.
“I use that phrase myself, I said people have isolation fatigue. For sure everyone is feeling that and there’s concern of course in the restaurant industry that there’s going to be problems,” Beavis said.
Despite his initial concerns, Beavis said that things have been good for them so far, with most customers consistently following the rules, even after the announcement of a vaccine.
“If it wasn’t for the customers and how well everybody who has come in has been adapting, we couldn’t have done it,” Beavis said.
Beavis said that although he was concerned, he grew up in Saskatchewan and has faith in the people of the province to continue to try and do the right thing.
“I don’t want to say it’s surprising because I’m from Saskatchewan, I’m from Saskatoon, and I know the people here are trying to do the best they can.”