Will Canada be one of the least affected by the Coronavirus?

Illustration provided by the Centres for Disease Control and Centre (CDC) showing the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC via CP24)

COVID-19 will eventually come to an end, as with all the other disease outbreaks. But it is difficult to say when it will, especially for Canada.

There is the question of whether Canada will receive more community cases, or is it our healthcare system, weather, and preparedness that slowed the spread of coronavirus to the country.

It has been only a few months since Coronavirus made its initial appearance in 2019, in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has traveled to other regions, from China’s neighboring countries to North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Currently, there are 119,214 confirmed cases around the world, with 4,298 deaths and 66,620 patients recovered.

Canada has 79 confirmed cases, with one death in B.C. Researchers currently think that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with the best guess of nine in 1,000 or about 1% (BBCNews).

The slow spread of coronavirus to Canada is possible because of the mild winter that Canada has experienced this season, with the spring season on its way. There has been a lot of speculation on how warmer weather can, not necessarily end the spread of the virus, but slow down the spread of coronavirus. There are conflicting rumors about this, but Africa is an ideal example of how the virus has not spread as badly as it did with the other regions, despite the close relationship between China and the African countries. But Africa is incomparable to Canada because of Africa’s lack of resources and a weak health system.

If the coronavirus is like the other viruses, then with warmer weather the infections may die down. But this isn’t definite, as some viruses like influenza are not affected by the season, it is just as bad as in hotter climates than in colder climates.

Another possibility is how many Canadians are vaccinated, and Canada’s quick response to those who traveled and are diagnosed with it, lowering the risk of disease transmission. Canada has watched and monitored other countries’ responses and details of the disease, which may have allowed them to examine effectively and thoroughly, making them more prepared. The mandatory quarantine that takes place in Trenton, ON is an example of this.

Experts say that the public may become immune to it, either through infection or vaccinations. If the virus comes into contact with one who isn’t prone to the infection, then that chain of transmission is broken off. And if the virus infects several people, eventually the infection will run out of people who are prone to the virus.

People traveling and crossing international and national borders contributes to the transmission of disease easily, especially that it is transmitted by close contact and respiratory droplets. The fact that it is hard to diagnose COVID-19, firstly because they have similar symptoms of the flu, but also the virus is often transmitted before the symptoms show, implies that there may be unreported cases and patients tend to be diagnosed with the virus later.

This makes it difficult to control such disease, and a few far-fetched ways to contain the disease is through travel restrictions and quarantine. Now travel restrictions cannot be controlled unless the government places strict orders for the whole country to be shut down, like what we saw with China when the virus started, and currently in Italy. As much as many people have canceled or postponed their travel plans, yet there are those who did not.

The first appearance of COVID-19 sparked significantly in mainland China. Until the beginning of 2020, the number of cases escalated to other regions: Iran, South Korea, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan.

Canadians should be prepared for the worst-case: a lockdown. But should not be in fear of what is to come, as the risk still remains low in Canada. If the public health officials declare a statewide emergency, it is for the containment of the disease.

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Written by
Mennatullah Shawky

A journalist in training.
Aspiring blog writer.
A coffee addict that loves to talk and try new things.

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