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Welcome to 2022, a new year with new possibilities. However, it is also year three of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontarians have been through a lot in the last couple of years. That is why I have a recommendation for politicians and high-ranking health staff. Don’t talk about the end of the pandemic or ‘defeating COVID-19’ until we actually do it.

The changing landscape of health measures can be equated to a roller coaster ride in the last couple of years. At times, high levels of cases have been reported, leading to stricter gathering limits, the temporary closure of certain businesses and other health-related measures.

Then, when cases start to lower, and governments have eased these measures, the conversation always seems to start about the apparent ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ But then the pandemic continues to follow this up and down trend of health-related measures.

I think hope is an important thing, but it has to be used at the right time. If you get people’s hopes up too many times, only to have them dashed again and again, people will eventually believe less and less this pandemic can be defeated and possibly tune you out entirely.

It can be confusing enough for people to try to keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations, but to be told we’re nearing the end of this pandemic, only to have new measures added later, it adds to everyone’s confusion.

Right now, caution is most important, not just for people to exercise in their day-to-day lives, in order to stay safe, but also for COVID-19 messaging. It’s best to be absolutely sure before talking about the near future.

Now, to be clear, I’m not saying don’t talk about anything pandemic-related. I think it’s important to share information about where we are in this pandemic and what the plans are moving forward. My point here is to caution against giving people hope too early or possibly giving false hope. Yes, I believe this pandemic can be defeated eventually. But until we know for sure the battle is won, it might be best to hold off on declaring it over, nearly over, or talking about any light at the end of the tunnel.

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