Defeating the new enemy


Defeating the new enemy

 A new enemy.

Doug Ford

That’s how Ontario Premier Doug Ford describes the COVID-19 variants which are “spreading rapidly ” as we enter the third wave of the current pandemic.

Addressing a recent virtual town hall meeting, Dr. Upton Allen, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Toronto, noted that “one person is much more likely to infect a larger number of people’’ and the resulting illness is “potentially much more severe ” with the variants than with the virus that came to world attention in 2020.

And he warned that ” the variants may also be associated with greater mortality – greater chances of dying,’’

Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, Canada has recorded more than one million cases of the virus. Altogether, there have been more than 23,000 deaths. Of that number, in excess of 7,400 have been in Ontario.

Alarming figures, indeed.

But  are we  prepared for the battle against the new enemy of the third wave?

Or are many of us in the Caribbean community still skeptical about the vaccines which are now available – vaccines to save our lives and the lives of our loved ones?

We have recently heard from several Black scientists of the need to protect ourselves by taking the vaccines. Let us heed their warning.

Dr Zainab Abdurrahman,  a pediatric immunologist  at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, noted that  studies have indicated that the COVID-19 vaccines have had “the same efficacy’’ on all races, with no group having “a worse side effect than others.’’

And as we suffer the inconveniences of yet another another lockdown in  Ontario – the third during the current pandemic – let us act responsibly.No “after hours” liming with the boys -or girls. No weekend feteing with friends.

As a community newspaper, we are well aware of the economic impact of the lockdown and we, like other businesses, are looking ahead to brighter days.

But we have to be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices if we are going  to win this battle against the new enemy,

As Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer,  notes, the current threat of uncontrolled epidemic growth is ” significantly elevated.”

She  also reminds us ” to maintain physical distancing, reduce contacts outside our household to just essential activities, continue with good handwashing practices and wear well-constructed, well-fitting and properly worn face masks to protect ourselves and others.’’

And as Dr. Allen pointed out, the continued threat of illness and death from COVID-19 is good enough reason “to do all the things that are needed to be done to reduce the risk of picking up and transmitting any form of the virus.”

Let us follow his sound advice to defeat the new enemy.