Ole Lammers / Edge columnist
Easing on social gathering restrictions may give people a false sense of security, which could result in cases that could have been avoided.

On March 11, 2021, Dr Bonnie Henry announced that the social gathering restrictions that were implemented to fight COVID-19 are being eased, now allowing up to 10 people to meet each other in an outside area. While these restrictions could allow families and friends to meet, it may also give some the idea that it is now safe to be a bit more carefree.

Excerpt from the COVID-19 BC Update, Mar 11, 2021.

This easing of social gathering restrictions could offer many people to see each other at the same time when it has been so difficult to organize an opportunity for connection between multiple people at once during these times. While that is great, it may not be completely positive.

People are starting to get increasingly frustrated with the restrictions the longer they are in effect. This compound frustration combined with the arrival of early summer months has resulted in restrictions being ignored and guards being lowered.

Students especially are one group that seems to be getting frustrated with the restrictions, sometimes taking their masks off outside school when hanging out with friends, or even sharing water bottles or food.

Announcing that social gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed, may inspire the opinion that the effects of COVID-19 are now safer to ignore for many who were following all restrictions up until now. On top of that, it may offer validation to those who were already starting to lower their guard. Or it may encourage people to always meet with as many people as possible, even though “… smaller continues to be better.”

People mustn’t become careless in these last few months during vaccine distribution. Unfortunately, at this point in the pandemic, people are looking for any way to jump back into the life they knew before, even if it includes taking the risk of walking around without a mask or gathering with people outside of their circle.

Currently, B.C. is sitting at a virus reproduction number of about one, which is safe and means cases won’t climb heavily, but many cases are still reported daily, over 500 every day. These last few months should be focused on pushing down the pandemic as much as possible so we can safely go back to normal life, as difficult as it may be.

Even though “our COVID safety plans work when we follow them,” it is not guaranteed that everyone will abide by them as intended, leading to unfortunate consequences like preventable cases.

B.C. easing COVID-19 restrictions – Global News
COVID-19 BC Update, Mar 11, 2021 – Province of BC
B.C. Allows gatherings of up to 10 people – CBC
COVID-19 March 11 Update – Vancouver Sun