“A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
Winston Churchill, October 1939
Churchill of course was talking about Russia’s unclear intentions at the dawn of World War II, but he could have been talking about Canada’s equally unclear border opening intentions in the second summer of Covid. We have been sorting tea leaves, analyzing ambiguities, and parsing every word from on high. It is a guessing game. From statements made by Trudeau in the past few days we know only that unvaccinated visitors will not be welcomed for “quite a while”. OK. But for all of us fully vaccinated potential visitors the only message is that there will be a message “in the coming weeks”. That’s just not soon enough for 52 of our Scott Lake Lodge guests. We have simply run out of days to provide them proper notice to arrange their travel and schedules. And to provide time for our 30-strong staff to arrive on the island and make all the preparations necessary to offer the world class service we have become known for.
Regretfully, we are now cancelling the two groups of Weeks 13 and 14, covering the dates from August 7 to August 17. We will be calling all those guests over the next few days to discuss their options.
While it has become routine of late to just lay the blame on Canada’s Prime Minister, in truth he just being a politician, one who follows not leads. A recent public opinion poll of Canadians demonstrated that Canadians are quite accepting of the non-essential travel ban: only 15% wanted the border opened “now” while a majority (56%) did not want the border open until fall or 2022.
So, our last stand, the final hill, will be determined by July 26 when we will either announce an opening date of August 17 or we will cancel the remainder of the season. What makes this issue difficult to understand is the tremendous progress Canada has made with their vaccination effort. Since our last report, just two weeks ago, they have gone from 22% fully vaccinated to 44%. In another week or so they will exceed the fully vaccinated percentage of the US, even though they had a very late start. We were so close . . .
We will keep the now even smaller group of possible guests informed if any meaningful information develops before July 26.