Early into the pandemic, you, the citizens of Saskatchewan, responded to the call of the premier and front-line workers, including physicians, and stayed home, washed your hands, and physically distanced. It was because of your commitment to these public health measures and genuine care of others that the worrying first wave of COVID-19 we all anticipated in the spring didn’t come to be.
But like everywhere across the globe we are seeing the silent, lurking and near instantaneous impact and spread of COVID-19 on populations.
We just had our highest daily number of COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan since the start of the pandemic. The number of cases that don’t have identifiable links is also growing. The cost of illness and the cost to our economy demand that we must all do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On behalf of the physicians of Saskatchewan, I am calling on you to increase your defence against this virus. Stay home as much as possible, keep your social interactions limited, avoid large gatherings, and continue to wash your hands frequently throughout the day. We also need you to wear a mask whenever physical distancing is not possible.
Now that the Saskatchewan Health Authority has opened up testing, we strongly encourage all Saskatchewan citizens to seek testing immediately upon onset of symptoms.
Although we are in the hazy days of summer and fall seems far away, it isn’t. Flu season is soon upon us and frankly, the combined impact of influenza, respiratory illness and COVID-19 worry the medical profession.
Living during a pandemic is hard on all of us. The day a vaccine is available can’t come soon enough. But until it does, we the physicians of Saskatchewan need you to do everything you can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you can, please wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. Wash your hands frequently. Limit your social interactions. Stay home wherever possible. Test immediately upon the onset of symptoms.
We are not out of the woods yet. Together we can stay safe. Be kind to others and yourself.
Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, a Regina family physician, is president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association.