On November 17, 2019, the first person in Wuhan, China began to suffer from mysterious pneumonia. Two years later, the epidemic, which caused little concern at the time, killed 5 million people and changed the world forever.
“We could never have imagined that it would take this much! I was expecting it to be on the same line as SARS or H1N1, so it’s an epidemic that requires some action, but not a global health crisis, it’s reversing our lives and our habits and it will have a lasting impact. D.R. Amir Qadir, Epidemiologist and Microbiologist.
Like him, many Quebec experts learned through the media that in December 2019 there was a “mysterious pneumonia” that affected about fifty people in Wuhan, China.
China fears recovery from severe respiratory illness (SARS) epidemic that killed hundreds of people between 2002 and 2003.
In the West, no one doubts that this infection will cause such severe consequences. As China announced nearly 200 infections and three deaths on January 20, 2020, Theresa Tom, Canada’s chief public health officer, parallel pointed out that the risk of the disease spreading was “considered weak.”
“We were still hopeful that at least here in Canada we would escape without many problems, and that was a mistake. We did not put ourselves in a position where it could be catastrophic,” said Christian Jacob, president of the Association of Microbiologists in Quebec.
Benoit Barbeau, virologist and professor of biology at the University of Quebec in Montreal, believes Western nations are more confident and less prepared.
“We always put out fires instead of stopping them,” he says.
To Alain Lamar, a virologist and professor-researcher at the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS), nothing says that the epidemic will last long.
“It was still possible for everyone to fear. But we believe that what happened with SARS first and that it died spontaneously,” he added.
According to him, according to Dr. Jacob, it is increasingly clear that the virus is here to stay.
“We will definitely be stuck with this for a long time. The virus will not disappear, it is so prevalent in all corners of the planet and vaccine protection will not be enough to protect people all over the world,” Mr. Lamar believes.
– With Jean-Nicholas Blanchett
Many lessons to learn
Many experts say that two years after an epidemic, a new catastrophe has become so widespread that there are many lessons to be learned to prevent it from killing many people.
“If the West had been inspired by low arrogance, low self-esteem and the best practices implemented in Japan, China or South Korea, we could not have experienced millions of deaths, perhaps we could have controlled the epidemic in two years,” said Amir Qadir, an epidemiologist and microbiologist.
Many scientists, who have been following the health crisis for nearly 24 months, believe the epidemic has forced governments to remain vigilant, especially regarding the importance of adequately funded health systems.
According to virologist Benoit Barbeau, Quebec and Canada are not ready to deal with an epidemic of this magnitude.
“We do not know how to react if such an epidemic strikes us, and there is no system in place to respond to the situation! In the last few months we have had supply problems and we have been unable to make any trace and we are stunned by that situation,” laments Mr. Barbie.
Although many shortcomings such as managing CHSLDs have been brought to light by the epidemic, virologist Alain Lamarre, unlike many other countries, is pleased that the government has made most of its decisions based on the available scientific data. The world.
“We still had a science-based approach that gave results,” he believes.
⁇ January 6, 2020
On this date, “a mysterious pneumonia” begins to worry the scientific community and raise questions about it. A total of 59 people have been affected, mostly vendors at a seafood market in Wuhan, China. All patients have been isolated by health officials, not SARS, a viral disease that killed hundreds of people between 2002 and 2003.
⁇ January 10, 2020
Chinese health officials have finally announced that “mysterious pneumonia” is caused by SARS (Acute Acute Respiratory Syndrome). When we know that this strain is part of the “corona virus”.
The next day, Beijing announces that this new virus is the first victim: a 61-year-old man regularly misses his grocery shopping at the Wuhan market.
⁇ January 20, 2020
In China, which has 200 active cases at the moment, the situation is rapidly escalating, with three deaths being recorded in several cities across the country. In Canada, concerns are mounting and officials in Canada are issuing warnings to Canadians going to celebrate Chinese New Year in Wuhan. Ottawa believes the risk of contamination is low.
Global public health officials plan to meet to see if the new virus should be declared an “international public health emergency” of international concern. Theresa Tom, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the risk of the disease spreading in the country was “underestimated”, but that measures would be taken especially at airports.
⁇ February 16, 2020
Two cubes that traveled on the ship Diamond Princess They were both diagnosed with Govit-19 and they both developed the first two cubes that were affected by the disease. They were stuck for two weeks in an already isolated liner. Of the 1,219 passengers on board, 355 were confirmed cases.
⁇ February 28, 2020
The first case of Govt-19 was found in Montreal. A 41-year-old woman who returned from a trip to Iran has been tested positive and isolated at her home. At the time, Quebec Health Minister Daniel McCann said there was “no need to worry”. Four hospitals have been appointed to receive and care for patients suffering from Govt disease.
⁇ 12 March 2020
The planet is gradually resting: stock markets are falling, and many airlines, such as Air Canada, are beginning to cancel flights to specific destinations. Franுவாois LeCold is hosting his first press conference live on television, in the company of Dr. Horacio Arruda, National Director of Public Health and Health Minister Daniel McCon of Quebec. At the same time, the head of the Quebec government issued its first announcements, i.e., 14 days to cancel all symptoms and all events involving administrative separation for all returning from abroad and more than 250 persons for 30 days. . The previous day, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared it a global epidemic. The next day, March 13, 2020, a health emergency was declared in the province.
⁇ 16 March 2020
Quebec is retiring for the first time: the government announces the closure of bars, gymnasiums, sugar shakes, performance halls, swimming pools, arenas and ski centers. Restaurants halve their capacity. Churches cancel all activities including Mass. Cubists are encouraged to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between themselves and to control their movements. For his part, Justin Trudeau announced that he would close borders with all countries except the United States. At this time, wearing safety masks is not yet recommended by the government.