Ottawa residents wait for COVID-19 vaccine as feds eye January rollout
OTTAWA -- As Canada waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, so too, do essential workers and community members who rely on them, in the hope that life can return to some sort of pre-COVID normalcy in the not-so-distant future.
From the onset of the pandemic, grocery stores have remained open as an essential service. The employees that work, just as essential.
Haley Carroll started at Farmer's Market grocery store on Prince of Wales Drive at the height of the first wave of COVID-19 in March. She says at first it was stressful, especially as many people didn't know a lot about the virus.
However, as time passed and more people began to follow advice from public health officials, Carroll's worry faded. She says she feels safe with all the precautions, like plexiglass dividers, masks and sanitation in place, and that science has progressed to the point of available vaccines.
"People want to go back to their normal lives and that's completely understandable so do I."
But Canada may be delayed in distributing the vaccines that will soon be available.
Elise Morin and her husband are out getting groceries, they do not leave their home often, nor do they go to anyone's home or have people at theirs.
Morin understands that vaccines will go to some countries first, but thinks Canada should be pushing a lot harder to receive the doses they bought.
"We bought a whole bunch of (vaccines), a lot more apparently than other countries," said Morin, adding being left in limbo is frustrating.
"I could be seeing my daughter and her husband, right now I can't."
COVID-19 cases in Ottawa remain relatively low compared to other cities like Toronto and many have accepted, what is being called the new normal, but for businesses who rely on pre-pandemic times, a vaccine could inject confidence and cash, back into the economy.
At the Brookfield Restaurant, Joyce Aboud's family-run diner and convenience store relied on nearby office workers and high school student, having lunch everyday.
"I lost 3,000 customers overnight, which is 95 per cent of my business," says Aboud, who's restaurant has operated since 1967. "I think everyone should get the vaccine"
She praises the government's effort in supporting Canadians, adding that with the resumption of construction, Aboud has found new patrons, workers right beside the restaurant, which she says saved her business. Who knows that a vaccine may not rebound her business instantly but it will eventually reopen offices, and the workers who come to her store.