Correction: The printed edition of this letter contained a typo in the number of regional cases, which should have read 451, as of last Sunday. The Local apologizes for the error and any inconvenience it may have caused.
We Canadians have, and will continue, to adhere to both our federal, provincial and municipal guidelines when it comes to self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will always be exceptions in every community where you will see or know people who have returned from outside of Canada, and do not conform to the guidelines, or individuals who just generally ignore the guidelines set by our government and medical experts.
So, let’s all agree, most of us are doing what was asked of us, and we can see and hear what is working in other countries.
The people on the front lines are all performing far beyond expectations. You name the profession and they are performing at 100 per cent-plus, on behalf of the Canadian people and their country.
So, here we are treading water, and struggling to stay positive, knowing that thousands of people are getting infected each day, and hundreds dying each week.
Now I ask you, what exactly is our government (at all levels) doing to present a strategy to the Canadian public that will address the next three, six and 12 months?
What are they doing to provide us with hope and confidence in order to gradually bring this country back to some status of work and productivity?
Is it so difficult to look at the countries that have succeeded in getting their economies started and partially growing again?
Just look around and see what Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland and Germany are doing. Testing, testing, testing and more testing.
They are keeping a tight handle on their borders, enforcing self-isolation, and working with industry, medical specialists, scientists and the experts in other countries to develop their long-term strategy.
Every day that goes by, our Prime Minister performs his duties, but does not say where we are going and how we are going to get there. The Canadian people need hope, and a map of where we are going to be in three, six, and 12 months.
This is not drawing a line in the sand that governments are so fearful of, but rather laying out a plan of hope and light.
We don’t need to look back to see how we got here. We need to be clear when we ask our government to come up with a plan.
One last point. Each week I look at the results of the status of COVID-19 in Canada and the world.
When I go to find out what the status of COVID-19 is in our Niagara region, I end up with the total number of cases, deaths, and a breakdown by age. Nowhere, on our Niagara Regional website, can I find statistics by town, city or community of the active number of cases and deaths.
Apparently, our officer of health for the Region believes in privacy over transparency.
On the other side of the border you can access Niagara County Department of Health and they provide detailed information by each municipality available, by mapping and daily tracking for each county.
From Sunday’s statistics on Covid-19 in our region:
Total cases – 451, total deaths – 37, translates into 8.2% ratio in the Niagara Region.
City of Toronto:
Total cases – 3,682, total deaths – 181, translates into 4.9% ratio in the City of
Total cases – 14,432, total deaths – 835, translates into 5.7% ratio in the Province of Ontario.
Total cases – 46,644, total deaths – 2,560, translates into 5.4% ratio in Canada.
When you take it a step further, the Niagara Region constitutes approximately 4.4 per cent of the total deaths in Ontario, yet the Niagara Region only constitutes three per cent of the Ontario population.
Bottom line, Niagara Region has a considerably higher ratio of deaths to total cases (8.2) versus Canada (5.4), Ontario (5.7), and Toronto (4.9).
Again, while these numbers may not appear to be large relative to the overall population in Canada, it continues to hit home no matter where you live.
Each of you must decide whether it is important for Dr. Mustafa Hirji, acting medical officer of health (905-688-8248 ext 7338) publish more detailed reports by community and locale, rather than leave it up to our media to keep the public informed.