Passengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR)                                Passengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR)

Passengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR) Passengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR)

EDITORIAL: A pandemic continues

Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 were introduced six months ago

Six months ago, in mid-March, governments around the world implemented restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, many in Canada and beyond were hoping the restrictions would be in place for a couple of weeks and life would then go back to normal.

This isn’t what happened.

In mid-March, the federal government closed the border to most international travel, provincial governments including the government of British Columbia declared emergencies and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced economic aid packages.

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Companies laid off staff and in May, the unemployment rate in Canada reached the highest level on record, with 13.7 per cent out of work.

When Canada announced the COVID-19 restrictions and introduced the aid packages, there were fewer than 1,000 cases recorded in Canada, and fewer than 100,000 cases worldwide.

Today, Canada has seen more than 137,000 cases and more than 9,100 deaths.

And worldwide, close to 30 million cases and more than 930,000 deaths have been recorded.

The numbers are continuing to increase.

And while many have recovered, some of those continue to have lingering health problems as a result of COVID-19.

With no cure and no proven vaccine available, it is likely COVID-19 will be with us for a lot longer than anyone would prefer.

At present, there is no foreseeable end to this pandemic.

This is why measures to reduce the spread of the pandemic are so important.

The only way to control the spread of this pandemic in our communities, our province and our country is to use the same precautions many of us started using in March.

Washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a mask in public spaces and staying home while sick are all measures that can help reduce the spread of this pandemic.

None of these measures are difficult, but all require a consistent effort on the part of each of us.

How we choose to respond now will determine how this pandemic will play out in the weeks and months ahead.

— Black Press

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