All across Canada, children's hospitals and urgent care facilities are overwhelmed with cases of sick kids. The early arrival of flu season, the rise of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), staffing shortages, and the continuing spread of COVID-19 have overburdened pediatric care in many provinces.
Ontario's chief medical officer of health and the Quebec College of Physicians have joined other Canadian health professionals in recommending the wearing of masks in indoor public settings, including schools and childcare facilities.Sign the petition to pledge to keep kids safe by wearing a mask!
At the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, surgeries have been delayed as its ICU operated at 127% capacity for several days. More than half of ICU patients were on a ventilator.
Children have been disproportionately affected by flu season so far, with half of Canadian cases recorded in children and teenagers.
Masks and vaccination work together to mitigate disease spread in this vulnerable group.
Dr. Christopher Labos, an epidemiologist and cardiologist in Montreal, told the CBC: "I think we've proven to ourselves that masks work.
We just have to do them, even if they are just a little bit uncomfortable for some people."
Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, agrees masks are one part of an overall strategy to fight respiratory virus spread. "If it's added to the other layers of protection, including vaccination, then it might actually make a difference in terms of dampening the surge
so that the hospitals can cope just a little bit better." (4)It takes a community to make a difference. Let's band together and pledge to wear masks to dampen the surge this season, especially amongst children!