Charla Huber: Long wait for digital vaccine passport a good sign

This has been a week of ­waiting for me. I spent the long ­weekend at the Saanich Fair with my daughter, her friends and a ­fellow mom. I had never been to the Saanich Fair before, and there was no better time to go than the present.

With all the disruption of COVID-19 over the past year and half, a day at the fair was ­welcome. I know we weren’t the only ones thinking this as the fairgrounds were busy and the children were waiting in ride lines that could take up to two hours. The long waits did not faze them or dampen their ­eagerness to enjoy the fair.

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Ordinarily, the long lines would frustrate me, but the absence of community events made us even more appreciative of the opportunity. I spent nearly 10 hours standing in line with another mother so our children could maximize the fair ­experience.

This week, I also signed up to get my digital vaccine passport, and I was also thrilled when the computer system told me that, due to a high demand, I would need to wait 49 minutes for my turn.

Again, in ordinary cir­cum­stances, I would most likely get impatient, but the fact that people were flocking to the site to get the passport ­demonstrated that they have ­prioritized getting vaccinated.

I know there are mixed ­feelings about vaccine passports, but I welcome them. I am double-vaccinated and did so at the earliest moment I could. My daughter is not yet 12 and ­therefore unable to be ­vaccinated. Right now, we are waiting for vaccines to be approved for younger ­children, or for her 12th birthday, ­whichever comes first.

I’d heard the phrase being used that the fourth wave is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. I do believe it is a choice to be vaccinated or not, but I also agree with limiting non-essential activities to people who are ­vaccinated, so we can protect the children who are not able get shots yet.

I know there are people who, for a variety of reasons, ­cannot get vaccinated and this may limit them. There is no perfect answer, and there will never be a solution that can be tailored to everyone’s individual needs and circumstances. Before we ­complain, I think it is important to step back and acknowledge that the folks responsible for keeping us safe have a really tough job.

I was at a playground one evening this week with some friends and noticed a small boy who appeared new to walking. My guess is that he was less than 18 months old. His family was at the picnic table next to us, and he stood about 10 feet away just staring at us. I waved and smiled several times at the cute little boy, and he just stared.

It was adorable. His ­parents made the joke that he was surprised to see other people because he was born during the pandemic. It made me wonder what else children of the COVID era may see and experience ­differently than us.

Will this era of children think that mouths are private parts that only our families can see, or be ­absolutely appalled when the day comes when they are asked to share their toys or hold hands in a lineup?

If we want to get back to ­normal and enjoy more fairs and fun events, we need to get over this COVID hurdle, and I think that vaccine passports can help us do that. They may also help us to get more cute little waves from babies in the park.

charla@makola.bc.ca

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