I wanted to let you know what I have learned about COVID19 in our community in the last 12 hours.
An outbreak has occurred at Pinecrest Nursing Home and residents likely contracted the virus around March 9th, 2020. Public health has indicated that there are 3 confirmed cases.
What they haven’t revealed is that there are 20 other residents and eight staff at the nursing home that have symptoms, but have not been tested. This additional 28 people undoubtedly are further cases of COVID19.
This means that there could be hundreds of cases in the community that have gone undetected. This virus is not “just the flu.” It is much worse. It is more contagious and makes patients much sicker. News reports of the number of people who have contracted the virus are way off. We likely already have thousands of cases in Ontario that have been undetected. As the number of cases double every 5 days, we could easily have thousands of deaths in the next few months in our area, if we don’t take this seriously. COVID19 has the ability to make everyone very sick.
It is so important to practice strict social distancing now. The problem with the virus is that patients are contagious and can spread the virus for several days. Before they develop symptoms. You basically have to assume everyone you encounter has COVID19 because frankly there is no way to know otherwise. Initially, the population of Italy did not take this seriously and they are being slammed with sick and dying patients.
You should go out into the public ONLY for life preserving supplies.
People who have travelled outside Canada MUST obey strict quarantine instructions. People who are sick with a cold or flu-like illness MUST self isolate.
If you are skeptical and don’t believe that this will have any impact on you, Google videos of the impact that COVID19 has had on the hospitals in Italy. There is nothing special about ourselves or our healthcare system that will prevent us from experiencing the same outcome. UNLESS we take this seriously and do things differently now.
I would encourage you spread this message to as many friends and family as you can. Everyone must do their part. The lives of many in our community depend on our ability to stop the spread of COVID19.
Dr. Jeremy Jones