John’s Update (April 27)

Dear Neighbours,

I am thankful that all of our political leaders are taking a non-partisan, fact-based approach to the COVID crisis, in harmony with Public Health experts.

Today, the Province outlined a cautious framework, stages through which we might take baby steps towards a new normal.

Stage 1: Allow select workplaces and small gatherings to reopen. Stage 2: Allow additional workplaces and some larger gatherings to reopen. Stage 3: Relax restrictions on small public events and workplaces but still not allow large events such as concerts or sporting events.

For more details about the provincial announcement, click here.

At whatever point it begins to happen, moving from one stage to another would be gradual, many distancing restrictions might still apply, and the advice of Public Health officials would be followed. Dr. Eileen DeVilla, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said today there should be no relaxing of rules until we see a prolonged decrease in the number of cases, hospitalizations and patients in Intensive Care Units. We would also need greater capacity for testing and contact tracing.

As much as we would all love to get our old lives back as soon as possible, it is important to remember that this may not fully happen until a vaccine has been developed and made available to the entire population. If we relax too quickly, experts warn, we’ll undo all the gains made over the past several weeks.

And that’s just to get us through the first wave, which most experts are predicting will be followed by a second wave, perhaps in the fall or winter. We need to remember that we are still seeing high numbers of new cases, that 308 Torontonians are in hospital, with 104 of them in intensive care. And that 297 Torontonians have already died from this.

So please continue everything you are doing to keep yourselves safe. And let’s keep looking out for one another.

The lyrics to today’s music video doesn’t match any message, but I’m including it because the power of the music and the astonishing vocal can carry your emotions wherever you want them to go. To watch, click here.

— John