Get ready, Canada. In his latest briefing about the ongoing pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that the effects of COVID-19 could still be felt a year and a half down the line. He also warned that Canadians need to stay vigilant.
In an April 9 address, Trudeau stated that "normality" would not be returning to Canada until a vaccine to fight the virus is made widely available, which could be a year to a year and a half from now.
He noted, however, that "that is so much better than we could face — all of us — if we do not rise to the challenge of this generation."
Trudeau also mentioned that there will be additional, smaller waves of viral outbreak following the current one, but that they will be easier to handle with the "knowledge and equipment" that the government has now.
As for economic recovery, there will need to be a graduated return to normal activity, according to Trudeau.
He stated that working on wage subsidies will be his biggest priority over the weekend, and that ways of gathering the House virtually are being considered.
He also stated that this should not delay getting help to people who need it.
PM Trudeau: Even in best scenario, months of smaller #COVID19 outbreaks likely after initial peak. "This will be th… https://t.co/ukLvMTVY5t— CPAC (@CPAC) 1586448071
This is in line with an earlier announcement from Canada's health officials, stating that while the worst of the virus could fade by summer, there will still be outbreak pockets returning over time.
Projections presented by Dr. Theresa Tam show that in the best-case scenario, anywhere between 11,000 and 22,000 Canadians will die from the illness.
The Prime Minister invoked the memory of Canadians fighting at Vimy Ridge over a century ago to inspire people to do their part now.
"We have a chance to determine what our country will look like," he said. "We're at a fork in the road between the best and worst possible outcomes."
Dr. Tam also commented on the current timeline of the COVID-19 trajectory in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada released a graph that shows varying outcomes, depending on the epidemic control efforts that are implemented.
From the chart, it's clear that Canada may see lasting effects of the disease well into 2021.
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However, she notes that "models are not a crystal ball and cannot predict what will happen."
She also emphasizes that, ultimately, "we are the authors of our fate." It's up to Canadians to respect the measures being taken to curb the spread.