The momentum against COVID-19 is on our side as we approach 2022
Omicron has burst into our lives like an unwelcome guest, bringing with it flashbacks of the past year when morale soared to new heights and upsetting the vacation and travel plans many of us have been eagerly awaiting.
Like everyone else, I felt emotional upheaval at the news of this emerging pandemic threat. I’m canceling meetings and a trip to Vancouver with my wife to see my family as I try to reduce my exposure and protect myself and those around me.
While I reluctantly accept the jarring nature of this new but familiar reality, I take comfort in knowing that we are fundamentally in a better place than 12 months ago.
I urge all of us to be aware of the strong position from which to approach 2022.
We have effective vaccines and vaccination rates that are the envy of the world. Children aged 5 to 11 are now vaccinated. Third doses, or boosters, are available for anyone over 18, and new data suggests that this is good protection against serious illness. Antivirals that have also succeeded in limiting the progression of the disease are on the way.
Although we have taken advantage of the relaxation of public health measures, we have muscle memory, and this takes over and allows us to adapt to their evolution.
Progress is never equal.
But we have momentum, and that propels us forward. We should be openly optimistic about the return to a new normal, despite this setback. We have come as far as we have because we believe in science. We came here because we used proven public health tools.
We came here because of the health care workers.
I thank the people for their confidence in health care. And I thank the physicians and other healthcare workers who have dedicated themselves to our care and who are asked to rise to the occasion again. Those on the front lines may be tired, but they continue to support and uplift us.
It would be easy to get carried away by the modeling data, rising infection rates and the return of restrictions.
The pandemic has affected every person in the world. And, just like in our own jurisdictions, it doesn’t matter whether we are young or old; live in a rural community or city; in the north, in the south, in the east or in the west, no one escapes it.
I believe it was this common experience that helped us get out of it.
He focused us on our common humanity. In the spirit of the season, our last two years have left no doubt that our well-being depends on each other and looking out for others is taking care of ourselves.
We will never be able to forget the suffering and loss that the pandemic has inflicted on so many people, but together we can weather this storm.
Even though the way we celebrate the holidays is still not all we want, and even though 2022 is a shapeshifter that will have its hills and valleys, let us not let pandemic fatigue bring us down.
Let us take advantage of this common humanity and this vision of a better future to motivate us to overcome the obstacles that we will most certainly face.
Our experience in 2022 will end up being different – better – than in 2021, as our faith in science and public health, and the many sacrifices we have all made over the past two years have led us to firmer ground. .
If we continue to use our tools, follow public health guidelines, and work together, 2022 will be better than 2021, and 2023 will be even better.
Dr. Adam Kassam is President of the Ontario Medical Association