Last month, Canada celebrated Thanksgiving and immediately saw the consequence as its COVID-19 cases reached record highs. Now, Canadian leaders say that their Christmas may be in jeopardy.
On October 12, Canada held its Thanksgiving celebrations. As family and friends gathered, it sparked a widespread surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Now, public health officials warned that the health care system could not handle another surge in cases.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a news conference on November 13 and pleaded for the people to reduce their contacts and reduce their gatherings.
The Prime Minister said that what they do in the coming days and weeks would determine whether or not they could celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, according to City News Toronto.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said that casual socializing had been a key source of the virus's spread in almost every part of Canada.
Dr. Tam said that important drivers of this increase continue to be informal social gatherings and activities. These activities include both inside and outside the household.
Family gatherings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and recreational activities have more relaxed settings. However, it could mean that it is easy to forget and let the guard down on the necessary precautions. She also warned that new daily cases could double in just a few weeks if Canadians do not take health precautions seriously.
The new modeling from Ontario was sobering, with the province's scientific experts warning that case numbers and hospitalizations could reach or exceed crisis levels that are currently affecting Europe, according to CBC CA.
Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, the Dean of the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said in a news conference on November 9 that people will continue to see growth in cases and more ICU cases. This will also mean more deaths in long-term care homes.
Dr. Brown also said that even with new restrictions, if they were implemented now, there will still be growth in mortality as it takes some time to filter through the system.
Several provinces in the country, including Ontario and Alberta, are still reluctant to implement stricter measures as they fear that it may damage the economy.
However, hundreds of doctors from across the country have warned that only stricter measures and targeted closures will protect the hospitals from being overwhelmed.
States in the US discouraging gatherings
The COVID-19 jump after the holiday in Canada could reflect the potential surge in cases in the U.S. as American Thanksgiving approaches, even as the COVID-19 cases in the country have reached more than 100,000 in numerous states.
Just this week, New York has limited indoor and outdoor gatherings in private homes in the state to only 10 people, as COVID-19 cases show no signs of decreasing, according to WABC-TV.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that if the cases were traced back to where it came from, it is clear that they are coming from three main areas: bars, gyms, and indoor gatherings at private homes.
Chicago also implemented the same restriction this week. A stay-at-home advisory was announced. Chicago government officials encourage the residents not to invite their family and friends over for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration.