Canada which is the second largest landmass and has a population of 38 million has been so far fortunate, as of this writing some 150 cases only of Covid 19 and only one dead in Vancouver, an elderly man with other health problems. In PEI so far no cases of Coronavirus, though this could change with March Break given the number of people travelling South.
The spouse of Prime Minister Trudeau is sick with Covid 19, Sophie Grégoire had just returned from London, the PM is staying home also and Parliament has decided to take a break until 20 April, though not before they approved the NEW NAFTA known as the CUSMA Treaty.
Some Provinces like Ontario and Quebec the two most populous ones in Canada have closed all schools and Universities. Churches also suspended all religious services and many municipal services are also closed or suspended until end April.
Here in PEI we still have 0 cases but the Government has asked that anyone returning from an International trip self isolate themselves for 14 days. March Break is only days away and many wanted to travel South, I wonder now how many will actually travel. Also find disturbing hearing stories of people who have returned from International trips but did not bother to monitor their health situation, this could be a situation just under the surface waiting to explode which would be devastating for this small Island.
The real bad news for PEI is that Canada has closed all its Sea Ports to ALL cruise ships until July. This is a disaster for the Port Authority of Charlottetown which built a new $21 million dollar dock with Federal monies. Upwards of 100 + cruise ships were to come as of 1 May, it will be a lot less for sure with an impact on restaurants and bars and tourist sights. The motor traffic was down last year by 25% after the big rush of 2017 for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
In the more populous province like Quebec and Ontario a wind of panic has taken over. In Quebec City at the COSTCO this Friday 13 March at noon time the police and the fire dept were called to calm a huge crowd of shoppers who had become aggressive and belligerent, a wild rumour circulating to the effect that grocery store would run out of food. The Premier of Quebec had to give a press briefing stating that this was false and no shortages would happen.
The problem with health care in the Maritime provinces is the aging population. Nova Scotia has a weak health sector and the largest population of over +65 years old in Canada. If Covid 19 strikes hard this province hospital and care givers would be quickly overtaken. Same for PEI which has a severe shortage of nursing staff and doctors. New Brunswick only has 1 Covid 19 case so far but it too would be unable to meet a high demand.
Will see where this takes us and how the situation develops in the coming days and weeks. Maybe we can avoid the worst of it. In general Canada is well prepared to meet this challenge.