Dear neighbours, community members, friends, family:
Covid has not gone away.
I just drove home from my shift as an emergency physician at my site which is a Covid center, to my home here in Montreal (which happens to be the Covid epicenter in Canada).
I was saddened and frightened to see many of you out, gathering in groups without masks or social distance between you. In fact, who I really saw were your children, teenagers, in throngs on the sidewalk. On Saturday on my way home I saw groups of sometimes 20, 30 people, men women and children, all close together without masks. Yesterday driving home I saw people in restaurants picking up take out, no distancing, no masks.
My husband and children went to throw a frisbee in an open field, and had to navigate on their bikes by an outdoor bouncy castle party on the street with a dozen small children playing, and in the park another group of ten women sitting side by side on a picnic table without masks.
Perhaps all of you believe that because the premier of Quebec said parks, pools, stores, daycares can open, that this means that there is no risk.
I PROMISE YOU THE RISK IS REAL.
You or your friends, or your children, will catch this virus. You may not get very sick, you may remain asymptomatic. But you will breathe on, talk to and spread droplets, hug or otherwise interact with someone who will end up in the ICU or even dead. That person could be your husband, your mother, your diabetic best friend, your neighbour with metastatic cancer.
That person could be your child.
Or that person could be you.
When that person comes to my hospital, we will care for them. The hardworking mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents who are nurses, orderlies, paramedics, housekeepers, respiratory therapists, security guards, doctors and clerks, will then be exposed and the cycle will continue. We go to work every day and risk our lives and the health of our family members, in order to make sure you and your loved ones are cared for when you fall ill. But don’t be fooled – we aren’t seeing less cases right now. We are seeing many. And we are at risk every single day.
When you choose to go out and interact with others without a mask or social distancing, you are not only affecting your own health. You are throwing yourself like a stone in a lake, with ripples that spread outwards in ever expanding circles. Your actions affect others, and can in fact affect the whole world.
Please, I implore you: stay safe. Keep yourself, your families and therefore me and my family, safe.
The fight is not over and the road will be long. Patience.