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Canada: Christmas celebrations in Jeopardy if Canadians don’t check on socialization

The last month Canadian Thanksgiving came with its consequences as coronavirus cases in the North-American national reached nee highs. Canadian leadership now cautions that Christmas celebrations are in jeopardy. Thanksgiving in Canada celebrated on Oct 12, 2020 could be counted as a super-spreader event as friends and families gathered stoking a widespread spike in the daily caseloads, fatalities and hospitalizations. Now, public health officials warned the healthcare system cannot sustain the pressure in the case of overwhelming caseload directed towards it.

“Reducing your contacts, reducing your gatherings are going to be most important. And what we do in the coming days and weeks will determine what we get to do at Christmas,” appealed PM Justin Trudeau at a news conference Friday. Casual socializing and carefree meetups were a big reason why pandemic spread in almost all Canadian regions, said Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

“An important driver of this increased disease activity continues to be informal social gatherings and activities both inside and outside our homes,” Tam said. “In these more relaxed settings such as family gatherings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations and recreational activities, it is natural to relax. But this can mean that it’s easy to forget and let our guard down on the necessary precautions.”

Tam warned that new daily caseload could double down in just a few weeks, if citizenry continued to flout the social distancing measures. New modeling from Ontario was particularly eyepopping where the province’s experts warned new cases and hospitalizations could crash the health systems if the excess is not curtailed.

“You’ll continue to see growth in cases, you’ll see more ICU cases, more deaths in long-term care homes. Even with new restrictions, if they were implemented today, you’d still see growth in mortality as it takes some time to filter through the system,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, at a press conference Monday.

In Canada, healthcare is a provincial subject and a number of them including Alberta and Ontario are hesitant to impose stricter measures, fearing the economic losses. However, hundreds of doctors from different parts of Canada have warned that only strict social distancing measures and targeted lockdowns could stem the spread of the deadly disease that has already ravaged Europe and neighboring US.

“I do not believe there’s a way that the cases will change without action,” said Dr. Adalsteinn.