When is the second wave of COVID-19 expected in Canada? It’s a question that’s weighing heavy on the minds of people across the country as experts continue to warn that a second wave is inevitable.
And while there is not yet a concrete answer for when exactly it will arrive, Canadian health and government officials know it’s coming and are doing their best to prepare.
Some experts, such as Dr. Sandy Buchman, president of the Canadian Medical Association, have said a second wave will likely arrive in the fall but exact timing could vary across different regions the way it did the first time around.
Dr. Buchman told Global News a second wave is absolutely inevitable considering every pandemic in history has seen a second wave (or at least a second peak), and often it’s worse than the first.
And many medical experts, including Dr. Buchman, say Canada’s healthcare system simply isn’t ready to bear the burden of another wave.
“The health care system pre-COVID was a patchwork of uncoordinated services. And this patchwork contributed to our lack of preparedness,” said Dr. Buchman at the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology last week.
“It is clear that there is an urgent need to strengthen our public health capacity to ensure preparedness and response in public health emergencies.We cannot consider ourselves civilized if we continue this way.”
Meanwhile, in an interview on CBC Radio’s The Current, British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry echoed the notion that a second wave is inevitable but said lessons learned over the next few weeks and months will help guide the province’s response when the time comes.
Some have also said a resurgence in cases is most probable among young adults, as they’re the most likely to quickly return to social activities as lockdown restrictions lift across the nation.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, has also said a second wave is imminent and could be worse than the first. She’s therefore encouraging public health officials to increase capacity for testing, hospital beds and PPE in preparation.
“I think you can never be overly prepared and we have to just keep going with some of these capacity developments and that goes for lab testing as well,” she said Monday.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for 10 days of paid sick leave to become the new standard for workers nationwide in preparation for the second wave.
And as many are predicting it will arrive in the fall, just in time for flu season, this change can’t come soon enough.
“When flu season starts up, we don’t want people who develop a sniffle to suddenly worry that well, they really shouldn’t go into work but they can’t afford to not go into work,” Trudeau said Monday. “The risk for contributing to a second wave significantly could be a real problem.”