The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is reminding all Ontarians that they have a responsibility to do their part to protect the health system and save lives in the fight against COVID-19.
For the past several weeks, governments, hospitals and other service providers have been preparing for the surge of patients we have seen overwhelm heath systems around the world. Scenarios shared by the province today paint a stark picture of what could have been: without intervention, an estimated 100,000 deaths would have taken place.
Thankfully, strong public health measures put in place over the past few weeks have already prevented that worst-case scenario. Going forward, officials estimate that between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths will take place over the course of the virus. Those who die won’t be strangers – they will be our parents, grandparents and other family members, our neighbours, and our friends. Where we land within that wide range will depend on additional measures put in place and how well everyday Ontarians comply with them.
Hospitals will continue to do everything we can to care for Ontarians. But they can’t do it alone. Every single person in the province has a role to play in the war against this virus. It is time for all of us to join the brave doctors, nurses, and other essential workers on the front lines.
Your responsibility in this fight is simple: stay home. If you must leave, follow the advice of public health experts and take every possible precaution to avoid spreading the virus. It may not be easy to put your life on hold in this way, but it’s worth the sacrifice. As the projections released today show, thousands of lives hang in the balance.
Social distancing measures have already made a difference in the spread of the disease. If each of us does our part to break the chain of infection, we can buy the health system precious time, preserve critical care capacity for those who need it most, and keep lives lost to a minimum. We are all in this together, but success depends on each individual Ontarian continuing to make the right choices. It is up to the many to protect the lives of the few.
– Anthony Dale, President and CEO