Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
No one knows when a fresh surge of Covid-19 cases will emerge in Canada, but experts agree numbers are poised to rise and could very well explode in surveillance blind spots.
A “tried and true” principle with any respiratory virus is that infection risk is lower outside and in larger spaces where germs can dissipate, says Dr. Camille Lemieux, medical lead for the COVID-19 assessment Centre at Toronto’s Western Hospital.
That is opposed to small, confined areas with poor ventilation, but the speed of this novel coronavirus to find human hosts is what’s most concerning, she says.
“The one thing about COVID that I think has a lot of people stymied is the rapidity with which it spreads when he gets a foothold,” says Lemieux, also chief of family medicine at the University Health Network in Toronto.
Even with containment, the viruses circulating in the community thanks to a small percentage of people with mild and no symptoms who don’t even know they are sick, adds Dr. Gerald Evans, medical Dir. of infectious control at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
Evans says “second waves are inevitable” as regions open up, using the term loosely to mean any uptick big or small. He cautions against suggesting one sector of public life – such as the tennis court – is safer from the virus than others.
“If people start congregating around campfires and other things and parks, and then large groups of golfers are getting together and hanging out, that could facilitate transmission,” says Evans, also chair of the division of infectious diseases at Queen’s University.
If Evans were to guess, he says a Canadian resurgence is very likely to start among younger adults who resume social activities, suggesting they are more likely to risk exposure and will have been largely shielded from infection.
It seems to me that the best way to protect the Canadian public is to keep the borders closed with our neighbours to the south until they get their stuff together. Right now, America’s Coronavirus pandemic is out of control and accelerating with no end in sight. They lack the leadership necessary to protect their people where here in Canada both the central and right-wing political parties have temporarily called for a truce to work for the betterment of all Canadians.
I cannot stress enough, “Keep those borders closed!”
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Daniel L. Beal
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