Six reminders that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over


As “quarantine fatigue” sets in and lockout restrictions are loosening in parts of the country, an occasional observer may think that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. But, as many medical experts will tell you, it is far from over.

“More than six months after the start of the pandemic, now is not the time for any country to relax,” said World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in an online briefing. earlier this week.

Health experts in Canada echo this sentiment.

“This pandemic is only over for people who don’t survive it,” wrote Toronto doctor Dr. Abdu Sharkawy in a tweet about a couple who died just three minutes apart, a brutal reminder that the virus continues to wreak havoc despite economic reopening. .

Here are some other reminders that COVID-19 is still a threat:

The biggest daily peak in the world: On Sunday, more than 136,000 cases were officially registered worldwide. This is the highest number recorded in a single day to date, the WHO announced in a daily briefing. “The results of studies to see how much of the population has been exposed to the virus show that most people around the world are still susceptible to the infection,” said Ghebreyesus. More than 131,000 additional cases were reported to WHO on Monday.

New Brunswick resurgence: In Canada, much has been done about provincial reopenings. New Brunswick, a province of approximately 776,000 people, was among the first in the country to ease restrictions. More than two weeks passed without new cases at the end of April and announced twice that all known cases have been resolved. But the past few weeks have seen a new outbreak of cases, many of which were linked to a local doctor who had traveled to Quebec. On June 4, the province recorded its first virus-related death and announced nine new cases on Monday, the biggest day-long peak in more than two months.

Increase in younger cases: Health officials in parts of Ontario said this week that they are seeing an increase in the number of young people with COVID-19. In Hamilton, health officials said about 40% of recent cases were in their 20s. In Toronto, almost 20% of all confirmed cases were people under the age of 30.

“The people affected by COVID-19 in the past few weeks here in the city are a younger population than that observed earlier in our epidemic,” said Dr. Eileen De Villa, a medical officer of health in Toronto. “Does this cause concern? I think any amount of COVID-19 is cause for concern and it should. ”

There is no vaccine: While an unprecedented global effort is underway to develop and produce a vaccine that can protect against COVID-19 infection, this reality is still several months away, according to health experts. Over 50 years ago, the mumps vaccine took four years to become widely available – and is widely regarded as the fastest ever approved. Anticipating “mass vaccinations”, the federal government has already ordered millions of syringes, but experts cannot provide an exact schedule of when these vaccinations could take place.

The case number is not precise: Since April, researchers have said that the lack of testing means that the number of COVID-19 cases is actually much higher than that reported by health officials. In Canada, nearly two million tests have been administered, which represents approximately 51,000 per million people, a rate much lower than that of dozens of other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Possibility of a second wave: Early reopening and “quarantine fatigue” could lead to an “explosive” second wave, warned chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam earlier this month when the government released its latest projections .

“These models all tell us that if we relax too soon or too soon, the epidemic is likely to rebound,” said Tam.

Federal projections estimate that the peak in Canada could occur in late spring, with the end of a first wave of infection coming in the summer. Experts insist that a second wave is likely, although much of Canada expects to find much-needed quarantine relief with the summer reopenings.


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