Canada has not seen a situation like the coronavirus pandemic since World War II. And just as our country did in that war, we must have everyone doing everything possible to win against a deadly enemy that we cannot see.
You do not want to get this virus.
Healthy people who become sick can be in a great deal of pain and have damaged lungs for the rest of their lives. People who are elderly or who have other health problems can die.
This virus spreads easily and quickly. It can live on some surfaces for days, and all you need to do is touch that surface and then touch your face. The virus lands on surfaces when a sick person coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth and nose. If you are standing near that person, you will get the virus.
Do not believe anyone who tells you that this virus is just like the ordinary flu. Right now, there is no vaccine…no cure.
About six weeks ago, Italy reported five cases of the coronavirus. Today, they have 64,000 cases. Over 6,000 Italians have died, most of them elderly people or people who were already sick with other diseases.
The government of Canada is doing many things to help Canadians get through this difficult time. We are getting more medical supplies and equipment to hospitals. We will have support for people who can’t work because their businesses are closed. I will have more information on this in the coming days.
But right now, our biggest effort in the war against the coronavirus is to convince everyone to keep themselves safe. If you do the very simple things that will keep you from getting the virus, you help yourself stay healthy and you will not spread the virus to others.
What are those simple things? They are all in the chart. Wash your hands often – soap and hot water is all you need. Do not touch your face – especially your nose, eyes and mouth – unless you have just washed your hands.
But the main message right now is, STAY HOME. Go out only if you need groceries or your medicines. Go to work only if your workplace is allowed to stay open. If you want to go outside, stay at least two meters away from other people. Go outside to exercise, not socialize.
Our Prime Minister, our Premiers and our Mayors have been urging people to stay away from crowds or even small groups. But we see some people ignoring that message. If we need to call in the police and fine people or put people in jail, we will do it.
You will soon see advertising urging Canadians to stay at home. As Prime Minister Trudeau has said, “listening is your duty. And staying home is your way to serve’. Just like in a war, we all need to do our part for the sake of our families, our neighbours and our country.