Chatham-Kent officials reflect on two years of the pandemic

Approaching the second year anniversary since the region’s medical health officer ordered measures to control the spread of COVID-19, Dr. David Colby reflected upon the early days of the pandemic.

“There was a great deal of anxiety about what was going to happen to the community,” he said.

On Mar 13, 2020 Colby declared a local emergency which allowed the redeployment of resources in Public Health after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

“Everything was uncertain at all times,” stated Colby.

While Chatham-Kent’s major worried about the potential of empty store shelves, he was pleased how the municipality and community pulled together.

“We as a community stepped up, and services, except for those which were shut down for health reasons, were maintained,” Maj. Darrin Canniff said.

Lori Marshall, president and CEO of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, remembered feeling trepidation, but added she knew CKHA would manage and save lives, “I believe we met that mission.”

Still, all three admitted to being surprised the pandemic has gone on for as long as it has.

Colby said there was an observation about the Spanish Influenza coming in waves, “but I didn’t anticipate the same thing with the COVID virus.”

Colby is proud of the work by staff at Chatham-Kent Public Health who helped with the higher rates of vaccinations among the more vulnerable segments of the population.

However, he was disappointed with the effort of the general community giving it a grade of C-.

“There has been an opportunity for people to get vaccinated,” he Colby said.

All three officials look forward to the end of the pandemic and getting back to normal.

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