Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians will only need to hold on for “a few more months” as he says the country will begin to see the other side of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the spring.
However, he warned that Canada is in for a “tough winter.”
“People just need to hang on. It’s not forever, it’s only for a few more months,” Trudeau said in an interview for The Mike Farwell Show, which aired on 570 News Kitchener on Tuesday.
“We can do what we need to do to keep our loved ones safe and mostly as well keep our front-line workers from being overwhelmed and our hospital rooms from being overfilled.”
Trudeau warned that as things stand now, Canada’s COVID-19 case counts are heading in the wrong direction.
“I think what we’re seeing now is a rise in cases that is extremely dramatic and alarming, and exactly the wrong trend line. So if we can reverse that and start to flatten it massively, that would be great,” he said.
Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam echoed the comments about Canada’s coronavirus trends on Friday. Speaking to reporters, she warned that Canada could see daily case counts of more than 10,000 by early December – if the country “continues on the current pace.”
“You can only imagine if we got to that level, that the pressure on the health-care system would be huge,” she said. “We’ve got to stop the acceleration so we don’t see that (number) in the beginning of December… That’s only a few weeks away.”
During a Friday interview, Trudeau said that if that 10,000 number becomes a reality, Canadians can expect to be hit by “a whole bunch of different restrictions at Christmas.”
“If we manage to lessen that, there might be fewer restrictions. I don’t think anyone can imagine a Christmas that is going to be exactly the same as it was in 2019,” Trudeau said.
“I think a lot of people are focused on trying to do the right thing between now and then so we can have as good a Christmas as possible. But really, we’re in for a tough winter.”
However, the prime minister followed that warning with a hopeful message: that Canadians will begin to see the other side of the pandemic that changed their daily lives come springtime.
“It’s not going to be until the spring hits with the vaccines that we’re really going to see, begin to see the other side of this,” Trudeau said.
It’s a message he reiterated throughout the interview.
“I think, realistically, when we start to see vaccines arriving is the moment we’re all going to be able to take a big sigh of relief.”
Speaking in Ottawa last week, Trudeau said he hopes to see a potential COVID-19 vaccine roll out in early 2021. Meanwhile, early vaccine candidates from drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna are showing the first signs of promising results in their trials.
Meanwhile, as Canada awaits a vaccine, Trudeau reiterated the importance of taking precautions and abiding by the rules in his Tuesday interview.
“What we do to minimize our contacts, to not go to friends’ houses, to not attend big weddings or funerals, or not hold big weddings or funerals even though the heartbreak is there — these are the things we’re going to do to be able to keep this wave under control so that as winter comes and goes and we get into the spring when there’ll be vaccines, we’re going to see the other side of this,” Trudeau said.