We need remain on high alert for COVID-19.
As the world deals with COVID-19, jurisdictions are already looking at getting back to normal. While there are obvious differences in approach, much of the attention has been on the need to reopen gradually.
Here in Manitoba, the premier has been talking about Manitoba being the first jurisdiction to reopen.
Here in our north there is no doubt that people would like to see things reopen as soon as possible. It’s been a difficult time. The vast majority of people in our region been following the medical advice to stay at home and practise physical distancing. It has separated us from family, friends, our community and beyond. It has had a huge impact on people who have not been able to work and business people that have not been able to be open. It has been very difficult for essential service workers and others continuing to work in difficult situations.
As much as we all want to get back to normal and perhaps even a new normal, moving too quickly could have a devastating impact.
Here in our north we have been fortunate to have had only a limited number of cases.
Full credit has to go to the communities that have taken the initiative to shutdown, and the many northerners to have been following all of the public health recommendations. But this can change in no time flat. Look at what has happened in our neighbouring province of Saskatchewan in the north. There has been a dramatic spike in cases. This came from one person returning from Fort McMurray who was infected.
Limiting exposure will still be vital. The ability to track and trace infection and provide testing will be essential. It was encouraging to hear the premier earlier this week talk about greater availability of testing. This has been long overdue and will be key in the weeks and months ahead.
We also have to be ever conscious about the fact that there will be more impacts of this pandemic in the future. Perhaps even another wave or waves.
The events of the past few weeks and month have had an impact on many people. We must never forget those that have lost loved ones here in Canada and throughout the world.
I also suspect that normal will be a very different normal in the future. When I look at my kids, I think they as a generation will be very much defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite all the challenges I think they will probably see the way people came together to fight the pandemic as the new normal. That things can and must be improved in the future. I especially think they will see the value of science, public health and mobilization.
In the meantime, let’s stay vigilant. Let’s stay at home when we can, let’s continue to practise physical distancing and let’s support our essential workers!