If you've been counting down the days until you were finally allowed to embrace your loved ones during this pandemic, that day is coming in hot. On Wednesday, May 6, British Columbia announced the details of the multi-phase relaunch plan. As per the B.C. reopening strategy, you'll be able to go out and hug your family and friends by May 18.
Multiple members of the media called into Wednesday's official press conference to ask when it was going to be alright to hug other people. First of all, relatable. Second, what a sign of the times.
The B.C. government has said that while it's not time just yet to start hugging all the people on our lists, we will hopefully get the green light to do so by the May long weekend.
"We're looking at the middle of May," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, The Chief Medical Officer of Health in the province.
She said that if the province's response to the COVID-19 crisis continues to go well and if we do the same things we're doing right now, then we will finally be able to "go out and hug our family" by the long weekend.
Dr. Henry reminded us that it's not yet time to expand our social circles as the province is doing the planning and there are still "hundreds of people" under public health orders.
Premier John Horgan echoed the same sentiment when a member of the media asked him whether it'd be okay to hug our moms on Mother's Day this year.
Horgan said that we all have choices to make and that the province isn't prescribing rules about who we interact with and how we should interact with them.
He added that the best way to protect everyone is to observe social distancing and keep washing your hands.
That being said, the Premier said, "if your circle has been tight, I welcome you to hug your mom."
But he also emphasized that people need to make choices. If your mom, for example, is immunocompromised, then it's best to keep that distance, he said.
Dr. Bonnie Henry also weighed in about possible Mother's Day celebrations, and whether it will now be possible to cuddle the babies in our family that have been born in the past couple of months.
She once again reiterated that "now is not the time," but since the risk is "low enough" in our community, it will certainly be a possibility by the middle of the month.
But we need to be thoughtful about hugging more people. Dr. Henry said that if we expand our circles, we need to know that we will now be in contact with our circle members' contacts, too.
All in all, both the Premier and Dr. Henry said that while there are no fixed rules about how we are going to go about interacting with our loved ones going forward, we need to use "common sense."