Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The COVID-19 Roller Coaster Continues

In the early days of this pandemic, many, including myself, assumed that after a few months everything would be under control, and life would return to normal. More than 12 months later, normal seems very far away.

An article on the CBC website published on Monday suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic is “completely out of control in Ontario”. According to the article, hospitalizations as a result of the virus have increased 20 percent since the start of the last lock-down in January.

Variants that are more deadly are circulating widely, new daily infections have reached the same number at the height of the second wave, and the number of people hospitalized is now more than 20 per cent higher than at the start of the last province-wide lock-down, states an analysis from Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table published on Monday night,” the CBC reported.

Variants of the COVID-19 virus now account for 67 percent of Ontario infections, and those getting hit hard by the virus are getting younger.

The percentage of COVID-19 patients in ICUs who are younger than 60 is about 50 per cent higher,” the article noted.

By any measure, the vaccine roll-out in Ontario has been somewhat of a jumbled mess, fraught with confusion and frustration for those seeking a vaccination. Adding to the frustration have been recent reports that the current vaccines are not sufficient to provide protection against some of the virus mutations.

The majority of us have been patient, understanding, and compliant throughout this pandemic, but for most, that patience is understandably wearing thin; we are a long way from the initial ’14 days to stop the spread’.

With this most recent stark news, there are suggestions that another lock-down is in order.

For Ontario, there is now ‘no way out’ of the dire scenario that’s set to unfold over the next few weeks without a widespread lock-down as well — coupled with other measures, including the province providing paid sick leave to essential workers, encouraging Ontarians to avoid movement between regions, and ensuring residents have access to lower-risk outdoor activities,” noted the CBC report.

Though we had all hoped that we were in the final stretch of this pandemic after the last 28-day lock-down and the start of vaccinations, it would appear that we are far from the home stretch and more lock-downs could be in our future.

For the government, that should mean a complete lock-down of all indoor spaces, given the higher transmission risk. For Ontarians, he stressed the need for strict adherence to public health precautions while relying on the warming weather to spend time outside, where the risks of getting infected are lower,” the article noted.

It’s important now that everybody just wakes up and comes out of denial,” noted Dr. Peter Juni, a professor of medicine and epidemiology with the University of Toronto, said in an interview prior to the briefing note’s publication.

We have been told many times over the last year that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and every now and then it seems to shine brightly before being blocked by new information, and new challenges.

I would love to be optimistic, and I have tried to be throughout this pandemic, but my optimism is fading somewhat, and I think that though we might be seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel seems to get longer by the day. It’s almost like we are trudging through quicksand en route to the end of the pandemic.

This ordeal will end, but I think we will have some more pain and frustration before we get there.

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