Editorial: New year dawns with bright hope on horizon

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While the world hasn’t yet been freed from the clutches of the COVID-19 global pandemic, as 2022 begins, a glimmer of hope may well be shining through the gloom, a hope that might just be the end of this tunnel in which we currently find ourselves confined.

Studies from across the globe are indicating that the Omicron variant that is causing huge spikes in case counts, while much more transmissible than the dreaded Delta variant, may prove to be less deadly.

Certainly the case counts in Ontario and across Canada, while rapidly setting records despite reduced reporting, are not resulting in the kinds of hospitalizations that resulted from the third wave of the pandemic.

Of course we are not out of the tunnel just yet. Despite the lower rates of hospitalization, admissions to intensive care units and deaths that we are seeing with this fourth wave, the sheer volume of cases emits a clarion call to continue to follow strict protocols so that our overburdened medical community and health system do not collapse under the weight.

Another important consideration in prevention of the swamping of our medical system is the huge number of other medical cases, surgeries and treatments that are being shunted aside by the need to treat the urgent COVID cases. For those facing the onslaught of cancer and other potentially life-threatening diseases, delays could prove fatal.

It is clear now that few of those who have so far resisted vaccination will be swayed to take the jab, many being willing to set aside lucrative employment to avoid the preventive treatment so it behooves us all to redouble our efforts to slow the transmission of the virus—especially to those who are most vulnerable.

It is also important to note that, although Omicron is now the most dominant strain of the virus, the other, more deadly versions of COVID-19 are still out there.

So, we implore the vax-hesitant to overcome their fears and book an appointment and for all of us to remain vigilant and diligent in our efforts. There is a reasonable expectation that the end of the pandemic can be seen coming down the road, but it ain’t over yet.

Stay safe, stay sane, be kind and remember, whether vaccinated or not, continue to wash your hands and above all—be kind.