We are almost four weeks into our response to COVID-19 and the changes it has brought about to our community.
Yesterday the Saskatchewan Health Authority outlined some sobering projections about the impact that COVID-19 could have on our province and the number of cases that there could be. In looking at them it is important to remember that these are projections and not predictions, done for the purpose of planning for the capacity of the health care system.
It is also important not to get overwhelmed with numbers like this, but instead to be reminded about how much each of our actions matter in the efforts to reduce the ability of COVID-19 to spread in our community.
When taken together, our actions are already saving thousands of lives, and we are already stopping the worst case scenarios of those projections from having a chance.
As Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, said this morning: “We can’t prevent every death, but we must prevent every death that we can.”
Your City will do everything we can to protect you, and we are asking you to do everything you can to protect us all.
Each of you can show leadership and to break the chain of transmission that is happening in our community.
By staying home, reducing contact with others, and practicing physical distancing when you do have to go out, you are saving lives. Together, we can give our healthcare system the best opportunity possible to deal with cases now and in the future.
Our ability to return to a more regular routine relies on everyone doing their part, and it also means some difficult decisions and uncomfortable realities.
The Prime Minister, the Premier, and our Medical Health Officers have called on us all to not gather between households over the long weekend for Easter or Passover or any other community celebration.
This is very important. In other parts of the world gatherings around meals have been the catalyst for the virus spreading. We must find new ways of connecting—through the phone, Skype, Zoom—and adapt to these trying times.
This also means it is not a time for children from different homes to get together to play. This is tough but important.
This hasn’t been easy. Thousands of people have lost jobs. Businesses have closed. Students are missing graduation. Weddings, trips and, celebrations have been cancelled. Parents are having to keep children busy at home.
Many sacrifices have been made, but these sacrifices are literally saving lives.
And with the right work there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will come back from this stronger together.
I hope that you are all with me on this. There’s a great team at the City of Saskatoon doing everything possible to keep the city running and to prioritize safety above all else. Now I’m asking you all to do everything you can to protect those around you.
Be strong, and be kind.
Reach out to people who might be having a difficult time. What we need is for people to support one another. We will succeed if no one is left behind.