Editorial, December 3, 2021
Alpha, Delta, Gamma, Iota and Omicron … All those Greek letters – if only we were naming hurricanes instead of Covid-19 variants. Here we are again, on the cusp of the year’s end and all that it entails: the last dog shows of the year, Christmas and New Year’s. New Year’s, a time-honored event that signals the start of a new, fresh, unexplored time of hope and promise. But now it seems to be dragging us backward into a cloistered time once again. This new Covid variant, Omicron, and the consequences of it are still unknown, but strict precautions are being put in place to prepare for the worst. Once again, the travel industry is the hardest hit. Countries are restricting air travel by those who aren’t their citizens. Some countries have closed their borders. On a more local level, even states are preparing, calling for a state of emergency so that they will be ready for anything that comes their way, trying to stay ahead of the anticipated problems that lie ahead. All in all, it’s a depressing development, just as we were getting comfortable living with limited or no mask wearing. We were all suffering from pandemic blues as we started socializing once again with family and friends. Some of us even started to travel here at home and overseas on holiday. But now the next wave of the pandemic seems to be approaching. So we must ask collectively what can we do to curb and eradicate this virus. Mask wearing seems to be most obvious, along with testing when you feel you have put yourself in jeopardy of exposure. These precautions are commonplace. The country is divided by those who are vaccinated and those who choose to stay unvaccinated. Those who are vaccinated seem to have more freedom to attend heavily populated events in sports arenas and the like.
But will the American Kennel Club start to impose its own restrictions in order to attend a dog show? Some questions that need addressing include: Will the American Kennel Club require proof of vaccination in order to enter the venue? Will there be the mandatory wearing of face masks? Will non-essential persons be allowed to attend the event? The first wave of the virus caught us all off guard, as we knew nothing of its strength and consequences. In the beginning there were show-giving clubs that forged ahead with events on a learn-as-we-go basis, with little guidance from the American Kennel Club. We are wiser now, and there must be a definitive procedure in place that works to protect us as best we can. Sadly, we all know a friend or relative whose life was taken by this pandemic. We are all in this together – let’s do what we can to keep our sport active and alive.