Beyond a doubt, seniors were hardest hit in our first year of the pandemic. They remain at highest risk for serious illness, complications, hospital admission and death.
B.C. rightly prioritized our elders with its vaccination plan. We are now in Phase 2 and in April, we will be entering Phase 3.
To find out when you and your family members can get vaccinated, keep checking the province’s website.
The relief of starting our vaccination program and the lifting of some public health restrictions has given many a false sense of safety.
I’m afraid that many (especially younger people who thought they were at low risk) have lost their appropriate pandemic concern. We are a long way from the early months of the pandemic when we shared nearly universal caution when we began social distancing and handwashing and schools and most businesses were closed.
But make no mistake, the pandemic is as dangerous to you as ever.
Last Friday, there were 908 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest number since the peak of the 2nd wave of the pandemic. On the same day, we saw a doubling of the number of variant cases, and the rolling average of seven-day cases as well as active cases were up 29%.
Of great concern is the increasing number of young people with more serious and life-threatening infections requiring hospitalization.
It seems the question is not will there be a third wave but rather when will we call what is happening now the third wave.
More important now than ever are the wearing of masks, handwashing, social distancing and limiting indoor (and in the car) contact to the same small number of people in your bubble.
We have all grown weary of the pandemic, but we must keep ourselves and one another’s loved ones safe. Remember the most vulnerable in our communities.
If you or someone you know needs social, emotional or health assistance, check out Burnaby’s community resources at burnabycoronavirus.com.
Burnaby’s Primary Care Network is hosting a virtual Seniors Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 1. There will be a variety of speakers and programs providing much needed entertainment and information to keep you healthy and happy.
I’ll be speaking about the Burnaby Division of Family Practice’s Empowering Patients public health education program – what you can do to stay healthy during this pandemic and beyond.
For more information about the Seniors Fair: https://tinyurl.com/bbyseniorsfair.
For links to my public health talks, please check https://divisionsbc.ca/burnaby/for-patients/empowering-patients
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician. His Healthwise Column appears regularly in this paper. For more on achieving your positive potential in health, read his blog at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.