People have been missing their friends after weeks of being cooped up indoors. Now, according to new numbers and data, officials are saying we can start seeing friends in B.C. again — or at least some of them — and still turn out okay. But they also say we need to keep up social distancing to see it through.
In her daily update on Monday, March 4, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released a whole bunch of data they collected which should let them predict the future of COVID-19 in B.C.
She gave three scenarios for what could happen if we start loosening up restrictions.
Right now, locals are told to stay inside and keep socializing to a minimum. Henry said people are seeing only 30% of their friends.
But according to the figure, locals can increase their social contacts with old friends to up to 60% of what they were before. This will increase our cases slightly in the long term but still keep it stable and manageable.
Seeing old friends doesn't mean touching or hugging, but talking face-to-face, over a safe distance, Henry warned.
And these predictions are with social distancing, sanitation, and other pandemic measures in place, of course.
Henry warned that going overboard — seeing 80% of our friends again — could cause a second spike in new cases, even if we're careful.
But if we keep our contacts in the 30% to 40% range, we could actually see zero daily cases in the province by mid-June.
• We are now entering a new phase where we must be equally vigilant and equally committed to protecting our loved o… https://t.co/y2x7ehJOdV— BC Government News (@BC Government News)1588636299.0
"The more potential for transmission between people means that the virus will be able to increase exponentially," said Henry.
She said that if we aren't careful and start seeing all our friends again at once that it could lead to a new wave of cases. Plus, that wave could be even worse than what we've already seen.
"Our challenge, and our work together, is to find that sweet spot somewhere around increasing our contacts by at least half, or twice as many as we have now, but without allowing those opportunities for exponential growth of the virus."
We have flattened BC's curve together. And as we start to look ahead, we need to remain vigilant with hand hygiene,… https://t.co/Zo5LQzBndu— BC Government News (@BC Government News)1588640420.0
Earlier, experts told us that we should be safe seeing some of our friends as long as we keep our distance, and now the province is in agreement.
So you might plan a safely-social distanced get together with a friend in the park, but don't shoot a text in your group chat to organize a BBQ just yet.