Slowing spread of COVID-19 is not rocket science, says top doctor

·2 min read

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is not rocket science, says Chatham-Kent’s top doctor.

According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, we can protect ourselves and others by just following the basic safety rules, despite a surge in cases across the province.

“The way a lot of people are framing this pandemic is that it’s a virus that is raining down on everybody, and there’s not much we can do with regard to this,” said Colby. “I have a different point of view. I see every single positive case as a breakdown of the precautions that we need to take to prevent transmission.”

Colby said this is not about victim-blaming but rather about the measures that need to take place.

“It really is a bilateral situation,” said Colby. “The person who is transmitting the virus is not taking precautions, and the person who catches it is not taking precautions.”

Officials have talked for months about following those public-health measures.

“It’s not rocket science,” said Colby.

He noted all measures had been validated, such as physical distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings, ruthless attention to hand hygiene and wearing appropriate face coverings.

“We know how to do this, and people aren’t doing it,” said Colby. “We even see continued cases in lockdown areas where nobody should have an opportunity to catch this.

Colby said it is a question of compliance and co-operation, stating we need to stay strong and not ignore the measures as it’s for everyone’s good.

“The second wave has been built on complacency.”

Ontario had 2,290 new cases on Dec. 18. It was the province’s fourth consecutive day with at least 2,000 cases, including a single-day record 2,432 on Dec. 17.

Due to fear the numbers could skyrocket after Christmas if people get together to celebrate, Colby is asking everyone to spend the holidays only with members of their household.

“Everybody needs to respect the level of controls that are there to protect everyone and not just look for a way around them or to say, ‘This doesn’t apply to me,’” said Colby.

“There is no shortcut, and it can be tough, but there is hope on the horizon with the arrival of a COVID vaccine. I think we just need to not lose our focus as we move forward into this new phase of pandemic management.”

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News