COVID in the New Year
By: Rebekah Eunaah Craig
There is hope that things will magically return to normal as we enter a New Year and leave 2020 behind us, however, 2021 will most likely be not much different for us in North America.
As COVID cases continue to rise, and vaccines are slowly making their way through the first phase of health care workers, it would be very likely that the majority of 2021 will be business as usual; wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your distance.
Different provinces and territories are placed on a prioritized list whereby the provinces that have experienced the most outbreaks will have access to the vaccine before others; Ontario being the first to receive the shipment of vaccines for the general public. It is expected that over 1 million people in Ontario will receive the vaccine by April 2021.
Currently, the Canadian government is working to decrease the cases of COVID by implementing a system of three phases throughout 2021. We are in phase one now; this phase is focused on giving the vaccine to health care workers, elderly in retirement homes and other care facilities that have experienced COVID outbreaks, as well as First Nations communities.
The second phase begins in April until July, and will focus on administering the vaccine to more Ontarians and is expected to prioritize vaccinations based on age and occupation. Though this is yet to be confirmed, those 75 years of age and above are top priority, followed by 50 years of age and above, followed by essential workers such as teachers, police etc.; hopefully approximately 65% of Ontarians will be vaccinated by the end of July.
The third phase, beginning in August and will continue through the winter, will be focused on steadily administering the vaccine to those who want to be immunized. The vaccine is received in shipments throughout the year opposed to all at once, hence the various stages. By this point, the vaccine should be more accessible through family doctors and pharmacies, and this will most likely be when the rest of the population who are not deemed priority will be able to receive the vaccination.
As of December 24th 2020, just under 11,000 vaccinations have been administered within Ontario alone. The goal is to administer this vaccine quickly and safely to all who wish to have it. Although there is an alarming amount of uncertainty surrounding this ever-mutating virus, it is crucial that we do not get too comfortable with the idea of this virus and forget the importance of taking basic health precautions. Wear a mask, avoid crowds and maintain physical distance, ensure proper ventilation within small spaces, and frequently clean your hands. It is encouraged to download COVID tracking apps for your location and provide self-assessments.
Take a minute to read “How to Actually Wear a Face Mask: 8 Common Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making”: https://creakyjoints.org/living-with-arthritis/coronavirus/daily-living/how-to-wear-face-mask-prevent-coronavirus/
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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