With the COVID-19 worldwide fiasco, pharmaceutical companies are racing against time to develop a vaccine that would settle the pandemic crisis. Today, the prime minister announced an important update on vaccine procurement and allocation to Canada. On his speech earlier he mentioned that Canada teamed up with Pfizer for the early procurement and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. The government has been working very hard on securing the most diverse portfolios of vaccines available and finally, it was successful.
The prime minister mentioned that the Government of Canada through the National Operations Centre, are working tirelessly with the provinces and territories to procure the said vaccine. There are 249,000 initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine coming this December with pending Health Canada approval. He mentioned that it will arrive next week and will begin to roll out as soon as approval has been established. He also added that shipments will continue to arrive with millions of doses in 2021. This milestone is a continuous effort of the government to protect its people from the deadly virus. Pfizer, public health agencies, provinces and territories are working hand in hand to prepare the first 14 vaccination sites this week. The prime minister wants to assure the public that any vaccine approved in Canada is safe and effective. While the regulatory process is ongoing and experts are working around the clock, Canada’s gold standard for medical approval is upheld to protect Canadians.
As the pandemic hits and continue to take over everyone’s lives, we question every information that we read and watch on social media, newspaper or any news for that matter. Technology has its benefits but it can also lead to destruction when used inappropriately. While clicking each link on our devices became more of a second nature, the pieces of information that appear before our eyes can be clouding our judgment or deviating us from the truth.
Now, the health care workers are fatigued, burnt out and have reached the breaking point. Some may think that this is another conspiracy theory but it is not. Hospitals are overflowing with patients not because of COVID-19 but of sicker patients. Remember the lockdown when all surgeries and clinic appointments have to be stopped? Yes, those scheduled appointments have been stopped to accommodate an “expected” large influx of COVID-19 patients. The hospital beds were made clear. The first wave was an appetizer. And now we’re getting the first bite of our main course, as we speak.
After a few months of lockdown, the hospitals opened and began catering to patients’ delayed surgeries or treatments. From surgeries to appointments to clinic visits. In the mean time, the COVID-19 cases continue to rise. From reopening of gyms, restaurants and other business establishments, there was a huge price to pay, increasing number of COVID-19 cases. From health care workers to ordinary people, everyone was engulfed with fear, panic, confusion, misinformation and frustration.
Those who were submerged with fear may have their own medical issues. They could be immunocompromised. On the other hand, another person might be fearful that their family members would contract the virus and may potentially lead to death. And then you have another one who fears the whole idea of having a pandemic. Who doesn’t? I bet most of us were not born before 1918 to witness the Spanish flu pandemic. Moreover, health care workers who work in outbreak areas fearing about their health and contracting the virus, infecting their family members or significant others or giving it to their patients. From mask deficits to unsafe working conditions and staff shortages, it was rather a difficult time to work in the health care field. I’m not saying that it’s easier now, I would say it’s more challenging than before.
Panic, fear and anxiety create a tunnel vision. And for some individuals, they lose their decision making skills and sound judgment. Some have the audacity to question the known facts of a profession that took years to be mastered, thanks to Dr. Google. A few don’t care and are just complacent in general. Some are irate and hostile towards health care staff and disregard warnings and suggestions to prevent the spread of the disease. Too much complacency and conspicuousness became acceptable. In fact, respect and tactfulness were nearly forgotten. Unfortunately, everyone is a doctor or a nurse now or an epidemiologist, insert sarcasm here.
The fear about this global pandemic is real, we get it. To live in such an era where the internet is a super highway of information, fake news and clickbaits, we are collectively vulnerable to internet vultures. A part of the population became defiant against the rules and norms. Our society has unquestionably changed and continuously changing. On a sore note, some of us are not willing to adapt to it and our behaviours are seriously affecting how this pandemic saga is going to play out. Here are the ugly truths about this pandemic that we may have to live with for a while, at least in Canada:
Online degrees and programs will continue to be the norm.
Mandatory mask wearing, everywhere.
Zoom meetings in replacement of face-to-face meetings in various settings.
COVID-19 swab tests every now and then. Our poor noses will be so traumatized.
Buffets, clubbing and parties are a tale of the past.
More job losses and foreclosures.
Less doctors and nurses because of burn out.
Ubereats and SkipTheDishes continue to thrive.
You need to wash your hands with the sticky, sometimes sour-smelling hand sanitizer at the store.
Travelling to other countries is such a hassle.
People who argue about wearing masks and think everything about the pandemic is still a conspiracy. Worse, wearing masks causes oxygen deprivation. Okay, Karen!
Some still don’t wash their hands.
Everyone will look at you weirdly when you cough or sneeze.
Violence and upheaval continue to rise because of misinformation.
The vaccine has yet to be proven effective and ethical issues must be addressed before mass immunization.
And the list goes on and on. Despite the negativities, we should continue to look into our values and what’s important to us. Stop being self-centred or selfish. In this case, we will find a way to cope and thrive in this unprecedented era. It would be a story to tell to our grandchildren. Additionally, we must act maturely and responsibly so our society can go back to a place where the pandemic seems like it never happened. After all, we’re a history in the making and it’s up to us which road we’re going to take. A path to greatness or a path to destruction. Choose.
Chaos. Fear. Uncertainty, fueled by the unseen enemy, COVID-19. When is this going to end? Did the statistics go up? How much people have recovered? Worse, how many fatalities today? These are the questions that curb our mind everyday. Never have we ever checked the news this much before the COVID19 pandemic. The traffic in those websites must be explosive. It’s almost similar to the anticipation of vote counts during election, just the opposite.
Before the COVID19 pandemic, man was preoccupied about their own needs and interests. In fact, the influx of technology and information has taken over the world and our lives. Similarly, man has disregarded the basic values of humanity. In other words, respect, empathy and compassion were completely forgotten. Despite some government warnings and recommendations to stay home, news of large gatherings are still rampant, a cringe-worthy moment. Certainly, the pandemic highlighted the ugliness of the human behavior. By all means, man has no regard about others but themselves. We have become self-centered and selfish. We have seen the worst in mankind within a few months of 2020. Altruism and good character are dead. Indeed, we have to restart and emphasize what really matters to our children. We are building the next generation of self-obsessed, uncaring and obnoxious generation.
Months later, here we are. We are still facing the same problems as the government continue to find the cure and vaccine. America is in chaos. China continues to shrug its shoulders. The world is in the verge of collapsing despite the technological ad medical advances.
How did we get here? The virus has its prime consequences however, it is up to us to realize what’s vital. After all, our enemy is not COVID19 but ourselves.