What you need to know about COVID-19 in Quebec – part I
By Micah Moen
The purpose there is not to realistically abort the epidemic although that would be the goal, but it’s more to delay it In the process, what delay does is buys you time and what time does is that it allows you to implement or roll out your emergency preparedness plan. Every hospital, every clinic every institution that takes care of patients have the luxury of time to prepare for this. Do they have placement strategies for patients, do they have personnel, do they have personnel protection equipment, do we have the equipment and material necessary to take care of these patients? This is what time buys us. The other thing that time buys us is by decreasing the number of severe cases, but nonetheless accepting the fact there there will be more transmission, in an epidemiological curve, what happens is that there become not only more people that become infected but they recover. Those recovered people make it less easy for the virus to circulate. Fortunately children don’t seem to be very sick when they get the coronavirus, including the COVID-19, but they do risk spreading it. As anyone who has a kid in daycare or elementary school we know that respiratory viruses are easily transmitted. By closing schools, even temporarily, it does minimize a hub of viral transmission. The rationale behind that is because within a mass gather there can be 2 kinds of individuals: one who is able to spread the virus, whether or not they have systems and others who are susceptible to severe disease should they catch the virus. The principle behind dispersal or minimization of mass gatherings is to prevent those two individuals from being in contact. We have to be a little bit cautious when we go into public areas, cognizant of the fact that there is COVID or perhaps other bugs that we can easily catch. When there’s an opportunity to watch your hands, you do it. When there’s an opportunity to minimize the behaviours that can transmit, for example coughing or sneezing on other people, that needs to be everyone’s responsibility. The data is fluid but what we know so far is the majority of the severe cases are people who are elderly and people who have chronic heart and lung conditions. If you have those types of people in your family it behooves you to minimize contact with them if you are potentially at risk. If you’ve traveled to areas where COVID is epidemic or if you have symptoms or respiratory tract infection, you perhaps should not go visit grandmother this weekend. You still can check in on them through the internet. But you should they to make sure the contact measures are minimized, In the event that contact is necessary, again, meticulous care for handwashing and using all measures to minimize transmission, like the hygiene measures.