A possible shutdown in Ontario is looming, but one expert has reassuring words for us all — we're almost at the finish line.
Dr. Colin Furness, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, said Ontarians should know that while the next month will be "awful," things will get better from here.
"What Ontarians need to keep in mind [is that] this is the last chapter," Furness told Narcity in an email. "April will be awful, May will be better, June will be good, July will be great."
"We get from awful to great really quickly because of vaccination."
Furness recommended that a four-week shutdown should include re-distribution of vaccines to hot-spot regions in the province, along with paid sick leave, closed schools, and mass testing of essential workers.
Younger Ontarians are "a natural target" for the new variants
In an interview with Global News, Furness said that COVID-19 has gotten better at attacking young people, calling the age group "a natural target."
"It’s obvious that COVID would want to evolve in order to be able to affect populations that it actually didn’t have as much success with previously," he said.
Dr. Eileen De Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, has also said that her colleagues report more and more young people are being admitted to ICUs in the province.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table tweeted that nearly half of Ontario’s ICU admissions from March 15-21 were people under the age of 60.
In his email to Narcity, Furness recommended re-prioritizing vaccine access to people living in hot-spot regions and people working high-risk jobs, as well as adding extra protections for frontline workers.
That includes N95 masks for essential workers, “aggressively closing” workplaces with outbreaks and raising the bar for what constitutes essential work.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.