As B.C. emerges on the other side of the curve for COVID-19 and restrictions start to ease, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.
However, it’s important to stay vigilant, says Golden physician Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, as a second wave of COVID is probable, if not an almost certainty.
“I think it’s a 100 per cent likelihood there’s a second wave, even Bonnie Henry said there hasn’t been a pandemic in the history of the world that didn’t have a second wave,” said Larsen Soles.
“The question is how bad is going to be, because if it’s like the first one and we continue with our precautions, we’re gonna be okay seeing how managed it so well the first time around.”
It’s that effective management that has allowed B.C. to flatten our curve quickly and effectively, especially when compared to other provinces and countries, she said.
Larsen Soles also credits B.C.’s staggered approach to reopening, as the province began loosening restrictions in late May without seeing a spike in cases that some other provinces have experienced.
In the end, that could negatively impact the province in the event of a second wave, according to Larsen Soles, who stresses the need to keep up with physical distancing and proper hand washing.
She says the virus isn’t going anywhere for a while and will have to be managed properly until a vaccine is available.
“B.C. has almost done to well, due to public behaviour,” said Larsen Soles, who credits the publics willingness to adhere to provincial guidelines as a main reason for the success in flattening the curve.
Larsen Soles warns the coronavirus family is known to be more active and potent in the cooler seasons, although it’s hard to predict with this particular strain as of yet.
While there is much still not understood about the resilience and transmission of COVID-19, she wouldn’t be surprised to see it pick back up in the fall.
Larsen Soles says hospitals and healthcare workers across the province are already mobilizing to prepare for a second wave in the coming months.
She says the best thing that Golden can do is to keep up with their efforts, which she says has been tremendous.
“These things work.Golden keep doing what you’re doing, stay distanced, use sanitizer, keep cleaning,” said Larsen Soles.
She personally recommends the use of face masks to help contain droplets that could be carriers for the virus. Early reports are showing that wearing a mask can help prevent both the wearer and those around them from transmitting the virus.
“My questions is why wouldn’t you wear it? If there’s even a small chance that you could stop the spread, there’s no big downside,” said Larsen Soles.
“When I wear my mask in town I’m normally the only one. I think people feel silly, but it works.”
Larsen Soles emphasized masks should only be touched by the straps and washed after each use to prevent the spread.
She also emphasized that taking advantage of the nice weather and enjoying the outdoors is a great way to stay active and physically distant during COVID-19.
She will also continue to get information to the people of Golden throughout the pandemic, citing that she wants to make sure that the community has the tools that they need to stay healthy.