A global pandemic: In this together

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A third wave, another shutdown, and further professional pivots required for businesses – it’s been a long ride.

The medical and first-line workers are exhausted. Some of my hospital friends are depleted and will never be emotionally the same after watching lives altered and taken by this awful disease, which is like nothing they have ever seen.

Something different this shutdown. Despite it being projected by many virologists, it seems everyone seems a little more depleted and exhausted. We saw light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are rolling out. Front line workers and seniors getting their first shots. Spring is in the air and the warmer weather was around the corner. All of which brought hope.

The wind in our sails diminished with another shutdown announcement.

I have heard many blaming Doug Ford or Justin Trudeau for this issue, depending on their political lean. However, I think the politicians are merely the messengers of the news that has been presented by science and medicine. Health officials in major cities have been asking for a shutdown prior to this, due to the data and increasing numbers, not to mention the virus variances. Ontario hospital administrators have been asking for lockdowns and there was a letter from 153 ICU doctors and nurses asking for shutdowns too, as ICU admissions were at an all time high due to the COVID-19.

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“The third wave is inevitable,” Colin Furness, an expert in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of Toronto, told CTV News Toronto. “And I think the third wave is the big one for us.”

Furness gave this quote back on Feb. 10. But many ignored his dire warnings, which he said were preventable, if doing what was necessary.

Some did. Some did not. Unfortunately, those that didn’t are dictating the outcome for those that did. The good news of his predictions is for summer.

Eye on the prize folks. Deep breaths.

“I think the summer will be where we start to open up and start to internalize that we aren’t locking down anymore,” Furness said. “It’s not going to be a normal summer but it will be moving permanently in the right direction.

“I feel like the worst is immediately in front of us and then it slowly gets better and stays that way.”

But we are not alone. It feels like it sometimes, as we are forced to spend time more isolated with our loved ones. Some are figuring out without all the external distractions that they don’t like their jobs, or there is unhappiness in their relationships or within themselves.

But we are not alone.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing growing pressure to implement a hard two-week national lockdown in Germany and speed up vaccinations to combat the country’s third wave. Sweden tried no lockdowns to gain herd immunity… unsuccessful. Paris also entered into a four-week lockdown again.

Japanese health authorities are concerned that variants of the coronavirus are driving a nascent fourth wave in the pandemic with just 100 days or so remaining until the Tokyo Olympics. “The fourth wave is going to be larger,” said Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare.

My point, we are in this together. Yes, some countries are faring better than others. It’s a new virus and science is variable and therefore the conditions, recommendations and approaches shift. Whether you are a conspiracy theorist or trust in science or bounce around somewhere in between, globally we are united. Everyone trying to do their best to protect their citizens in their corner of the worlds.

Be kind. Deep breaths. Summer is coming.

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