An outline of Vancouver Island in dark red with lots of green COVID molecules scattered over it.
Photo Credit: VanIsle.News Staff

It’s Another COVID Christmas

Province brings in new restrictions to try to calm the COVID storm

VanIsle is breaking COVID records just in time for the holidays

Let’s just come out and say it—Omicron sucks. If you’re tired of it all, it’s a good time to yell some curses or hit a pillow. Get that frustration out because this is crap.

Here are six things you need to know to get through the holidays safely.

Worst COVID day on the Island

We’ve said that a lot lately. 

But we broke our record again today. Another 202 people got a positive COVID test today. 

With Omicron, that number will probably skyrocket in the next few days.

Omicron is really contagious

Data from Ontario suggests that every person with the Delta variant was infecting just over one other person, which is why the virus was still spreading. But each person with Omicron could infect about four other people. That’s a huge number.

You can get COVID twice

Folks who have had COVID can still get Omicron. In fact, Omicron seems especially good at infecting people who have already had other kinds of COVID.

You can get COVID even if you’re vaccinated

Even if you’ve had two doses, you can still get infected with Omicron. The vaccine will help your body fight the infection. The vaccinations will probably help keep you out of the hospital, but you can still get infected.

The good news is that a third vaccine dose can help fight Omicron. 

The bad news is that even if you got your third shot today, your body still needs two weeks to build the antibodies. And the province isn’t ramping up COVID clinics yet, so it’ll be a while before you can even get that third booster shot.

BC is locking some stuff down

Is this a total bummer? Yes. 

Omicron has terrible timing. But if we don’t lock some stuff down, the Island will soon be full of COVID, and that would be awful.

So if you’re going to see people at Christmas, keep your party small. Ten people or less, and only two households. And don’t just have ten different people over each day—stick to seeing the same people.

Bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios are all closed until at least January 18, 2022.

Big indoor gatherings like wedding receptions are banned.

Concerts, movies, and sports can go ahead, but only at 50 percent capacity.

Religious services can still run at 100 percent capacity, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If there are unvaccinated people, then they can only be 50 percent full.

You can only have six people at your table at a restaurant, and no mingling!

New Year’s Eve parties and sports tournaments are cancelled.

Omicron is not milder than Delta

All those hopes that Omicron would be milder than Delta are fading. It’s just that it takes a while for sick people to end up in the hospital. So it looks like people are okay right now, but give it a few weeks.

So keep it cool and quiet this holiday season, VanIslanders. We can do this even though it’s hard.