Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pleading with Canadians to reduce their contacts as much as possible as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country – and he warned that Canada’s future is on the line.
“This is the future of our country, this is the future of our children, it’s the future of our loved ones and our seniors, it’s our economy, it’s our businesses, it’s everything all together,” Trudeau said Friday.
Trudeau acknowledged that people are tired of the pandemic and its restrictions on their daily lives, but said adherence to public health measures is more important now than ever before.
“The cases across the country are spiking massively. We are facing a winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up and hospitals get overwhelmed and more loved ones dying.”
“So we need to do everything we can right now to slow the spread of COVID-19, to stop the spike in its tracks,” Trudeau said.
With the holiday season looming just around the corner, Trudeau also warned that Christmas is also going to have to look very different this year.
“A normal Christmas, quite frankly, is out of the question,” he said.
His comments come just hours after Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned that Canada is “not on a good trajectory” as she unveiled the latest figures in the virus’ spread Friday morning.
Tam warned that if Canadians don’t reduce their contacts, Canada could see 20,000 cases daily by the end of December. She urged for a return to Canadians only undertaking “essential activities” in order to avoid healthcare systems being crushed under the weight of the caseload surge.
Trudeau echoed the message in his own Friday press conference, noting that he’ll also be working from home as much as possible. He was speaking from outside his home, Rideau Cottage — the same venue where he held daily press conferences in the early days of the pandemic.
Trudeau pleaded with Canadians to cancel any plans that could lead to non-essential contacts.
“If you were planning to see friends this weekend — maybe don’t. If there was a birthday party or a gathering for dinner you were thinking about doing, don’t do it,” Trudeau said.
“We’re in a moment right now where even with all the sacrifices I know Canadians have been making over these past 10 months, we are now going to have to really tighten up once again.”
Trudeau acknowledged that the news of the increasingly stringent measures Canadians must take is “frustrating,” especially as some Canadians have given up on following the rules.
“I know we’ve all heard stories of people who’ve thrown up their hands and are not doing their part anymore. People who have stopped wearing masks, or people who are going out more than they should,” Trudeau said.
“It’s tempting for all of us to say, ‘well OK, maybe I can loosen up a bit more too.’ But the reality is, we need to go in the opposite direction.”
Trudeau explained that if the COVID-fatigue sufferers don’t start adhering to the rules, then those who are already following the restrictions will “have to do even more.”
He said that if Canadians don’t succeed in stepping up their game, people will die.
“Help us beat the second wave. Save lives. Because that is what’s at stake,” Trudeau said.
“Every person that we lose to this virus is someone who has family and friends who love them, who had plans for tomorrow and things they still wanted to do.”
To date, over 11,000 Canadians have died of COVID-19.