Health a shared responsibility

How will we know that it is safe to ease restriction of social distancing and community lockdowns? Will we be responsible enough to protect one another? Each province, city and town will be faced with their own decisions. Each regional health authority will offer guidance. We have learned during this lockdown that our freedom is a shared responsibility. Each of us is responsible to care for ourselves and our fellow citizens. If that means social isolating by staying in our homes and reducing our visits to grocery stores, we have been ready to do it.
Beginning on Friday parks in the city of Toronto opened to the public and pictures across the web indicated that many residents failed to follow the social distancing guidelines. Time will tell whether there is a dramatic uptake in the number of cases and the number of deaths. As Toronto leads, the rest of the province will follow. Questions will be considered. Will the increased contacts lead to a rise in the number of cases? If the number rises too quickly, Premier Ford and Mayor John Tory will be forced to consider the unthinkable. . . “Impose another lockdown?”
While the lessening of restrictions takes place, the number of tests for Covid 19 and the antibody have not reached the maximum number of tests Ontario labs can perform daily. Health officials stress that we cannot open restrictions without additional testing to immediately monitor outbreaks and contacts. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba are all testing a greater portion of the population than is Ontario and Quebec, provinces with the highest number of cases. On Sunday premier Ford encouraged the citizens of Ontario to begin mass testing not waiting for symptoms. He encouraged all citizens to attend to provincial assessment centers.
I remember as a youngster, a tuberculosis screening event was held at the Memorial Arena. The community was to attend on specific nights and then two days later residents returned to have the test analyzed. If the test was positive persons were referred for X-rays. It was a way of reducing the outbreak of TB in the area.
Mass testing may be needed now, and it is everyone’s responsibility to take the test.
When I went to Canadian Tire for some plumbing fittings or to Safeway for groceries, I was surprised to see how few shoppers were wearing face masks. Studies have shown that if you are wearing a mask, your chance of catching the virus is reduced. If you have the virus and are wearing a mask your ability to transfer the virus to another individual is dramatically reduced. If both are wearing masks the chance of transmitting or receiving the virus is virtually eliminated.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has recommended that everyone should be wearing a mask when outside their home to protect themselves and others. The citizens of South Korea have adopted this responsible policy. It is our shared responsibility. We all should too. It would be a first step in reducing risks and continuing the easing of restrictions.

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