Canada's Top Doctor Says Getting Back To Normal Is "Still A Ways Off"

There is no "proven path" back to normal.

The biggest key to fighting this pandemic is turning out to be patience. As much as people want to get back to their regular lives, Dr. Theresa Tam says we have longer to wait. The road back to normal isn't going to be an easy one to navigate.

In an April 21 Twitter thread, Dr. Tam said that Canada is still "a ways off" from approaching normality.

"#Publichealth authorities are closely monitoring for continued and stable slowing of the #COVID19 epidemic in [Canada]," she wrote, "while carefully considering approaches to ease public health restrictions when & where this may be possible."

Dr. Tam reminded people that getting to the end of this situation is going to be a marathon. She wrote that there are still a lot of unknowns, and that "there is no 100% proven path to a new normal."

In another tweet, Tam noted that moving forward will require learning, evaluating, and adjusting the course as necessary.

Dr. Tam has been criticized by Alberta premier Jason Kenney, who said he believed she was just repeating messages coming out of China.

Kenney also said that he wouldn't wait for Health Canada to approve tests being used in the province that had been given the go-ahead in peer jurisdictions like the EU and the United States.

However, Dr. Tam noted in her Twitter thread that "epidemiology is different in each jurisdiction" of Canada, and that there is no "one size fits all approach."

"The timing, type & range of #publichealth measures must be tailored for different contexts & to protect vulnerable populations/high-risk settings."

Canada's Public Health Officer offered a spark of optimism in her Twitter thread, noting that Canada's approach, as well as the "sacrifice & everyday inconveniences" of Canadians, have helped to prevent what she called "explosive spread."

She concluded by noting, though, that we can't let our guard down or be too confident just yet.

"What we can do is ensure we are #StrongerTogether, stay the course & work to strengthen supports for our most vulnerable members of society," Dr. Tam wrote. "By ensuring basic needs are met for everyone, we protect the health of all Canadians. #CheersToVolunteers #COVID19"

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