By JAYSON DIMAANO
March 11, 2021 has been declared a National Day of Observance for COVID-19 in Canada to remember the lives lost to the virus and the impacts everyone has felt since the beginning of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the National Day of Observance in a press release on March 8.
“Early last year, our lives, and the lives of everyone around the world, were forever changed by the emergence of COVID-19. Today (March 8, marks) one year after the first known death of a Canadian to the disease. We now mourn the tragic loss of more than 22,000 parents, siblings, friends, and loved ones.”
To date, nearly 870,000 Canadians have been infected by the virus.
To stop COVID-19 from spreading, social, entertainment and sporting events and gatherings were either postponed or cancelled, businesses were locked down and schools were closed. The changes to people’s lives have been profound over the past 12 months.
Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said in an email to Beach Metro News that it is important to remember the lives lost to the virus, but also the sacrifices of the frontline workers who have been doing such challenging work since the beginning of the pandemic.
“It is also important to remember that this crisis isn’t over, we can’t let our guard down, and a full memorial for everyone lost should come when the pandemic is behind us,” said Erskine-Smith.
Trudeau praised the work of frontline and essential workers during the pandemic.
“Our health care and other essential workers have put themselves at risk, working long hours, so we could get the services and care we needed. And as efforts continue to get vaccines to every Canadian as quickly as possible, we thank them now more than ever,” Trudeau said.
He added that March 11 is also a day to “also recognize everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19, and pay tribute to all those who continue to work hard and make incredible sacrifices in our fight against the virus. Together, we will beat COVID-19.”
To remember those who lost their lives to COVID-19, people are being asked to stand on their porches or balconies or driveways on March 11 at 7 p.m. with a light or a candle. For more information on this, please visit the Registered Nurses of Ontario website at https://rnao.ca/covid19/covid-19-togetherwecandoit-campaign#vigil