One year ago, our editor wrote a column on a new mysterious illness starting to emerge in B.C.
“Anyone else wondering what all the coronavirus fuss is about?” asked Jocelyn Doll.
Her article went on to describe how to best protect ourselves against the disease and tried to wade through the confusing advice on how to stay safe.
“From what I can tell, it seems we are bracing for the worst,” she wrote.
At the time, there were only 78 cases of the virus in Canada.
Little did Doll know that one week later, she would be laid off and Revelstoke would turn into a ghost town.
A year later, more than 22,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Canada, making it the 22nd country with the most fatalities.
In total, the virus has killed roughly 2.6 million people around the globe.
This month, 10,000 people are dying daily.
Of course, placing judgment in hindsight is always easier. Ironically, months before one of the worst pandemics in recent years started, Canada silenced its international alert system for global disease outbreaks.
The Global Public Health Intelligence Network was established in 1994 to improve Canada’s intelligence surrounding outbreaks by monitoring Internet media, such as news wires and websites, in nine languages. The system detected early signs of the 2009 swine flu pandemic in Mexico, zika in West Africa, H5N1 in Iran, MERS and ebola.
Due to public outcry, the network was rebooted last summer. Yet, it was too late. COVID-19 had already nestled into Canada. Regardless, the future is hopeful.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said this month she predicts a post-pandemic world for B.C. this summer. Of course, there could be snags.
The vaccine rollout in Canada has been slow, yet a fourth inoculation was just approved, which hopefully should speed up the process.
“Maybe I’m too optimistic, but we’re going to be in our post-pandemic world by the summer if things continue to go the way that we want them to,” said Henry.
Heck, even Disneyland is expected to reopen this April and the Summer Olympics has yet to be cancelled. The future indeed is starting to look a little brighter.