2020 is the year that keeps on giving — despite the fact that nobody has asked for more of whatever this year has to offer. The ongoing parade of plagues, disasters and breaking news events is exhausting.
It’s fair to say that most of us, if not all of us, are tired. Tired of the pandemic, tired of natural disasters, tired of politics, tired of all of it. It’s tempting to tune out from current events and choose complacency.
But complacency is not an option. When World War II broke out in Europe, the Greatest Generation did not tune out; they did not choose complacency. They chose to act and made the ultimate sacrifice to bring the war to an end.
Many people have made sacrifices since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has raged on, we have grappled with economic challenges, civil unrest, natural disasters and tragedies on a global scale. Despite all the sacrifices, it seems that little progress is being made to stem the tide of these challenges.
And that’s exactly why those efforts need to be sustained now more than ever.
Summertime offered Canadians a brief moment of pandemic freedom. People gathered and travelled beyond their home communities to visit friends and family.
British Columbians celebrated what appeared to be a successful effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections. Almost immediately after the Canada Day long weekend, COVID-19 infections surged, eventually reaching the highest levels seen throughout the pandemic that shows no signs of slowing down.
In his address to Canadians on Sept. 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit on this same note.
“We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,” he said.
If Canadians give into the fatigue induced by 2020, the fall will be much worse than the spring. It would be a tremendous waste – a national tragedy – if the sacrifices made by millions of Canadians were all in vain.
Luckily, it does not have to be that way. Scientists and public health officials know far more about COVID-19 today than back in the spring. There are now more tools for fighting the spread of COVID-19, and every day the world gets closer to developing a successful vaccine.
There are many challenging months ahead. Even after the pandemic ends, the world will have to grapple with the economic aftermath of the crisis and the worsening dangers of climate change.
The challenges ahead of us are great. Our will and determination to overcome these challenges must be greater.
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