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Scott Thompson: After COVID-19, will we do justice to our heroes in health care?

Click to play video: 'Growing fears about Canada’s long-term care homes' Growing fears about Canada’s long-term care homes
WATCH: (April 15) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's working with provinces to provide more help for Canada's care homes struggling under the weight of COVID-19. Ross Lord looks at the changes some provinces are making – Apr 15, 2020

When this pandemic first started, one of our main concerns was securing much-needed medical supplies — especially masks — that seemed to be in short supply everywhere in the world.

Everywhere except the country that makes the most of them, that is — that being China.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario Nurses’ Association calls work conditions in care homes ‘unfathomable’

As medical supplies are secured from various sources, Canada’s main concern has now become keeping the elderly and vulnerable in care facilities alive and safe from COVID-19.

So far, it has proven to be our country’s greatest challenge.

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It has also exposed a system that is greatly unprepared and under-financed for what a pandemic can bring, not to mention the concerns that had been growing well before COVID-19.

And it’s not as if we weren’t warned. SARS was supposed to have prepared us for future catastrophes like this.

However, a solid post-mortem is worthless if the lessons aren’t learned.

This crisis will change many things in life moving forward, and hopefully one of them will be our appreciation for health-care workers of all kinds.

READ MORE: More than 1,000 people have died in Canada from COVID-19

Post-9/11 firefighters were the heroes of the day. COVID-19 will forever remind us how important all front-line workers are, especially in health care.

But until we as a society make that commitment, there is only so much these heroes can do.

Many systems will have to be redesigned post COVID-19. Health care should be the top priority.

We owe them at least that.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​

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