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COVID-19 has to be taken seriously by all

It’s one thing to have a personal opinion on a matter, it’s quite another to refuse to follow precautions because you don’t “believe” COVID-19 poses any real threat to the Kivalliq because it’s not here now and everything appears to be normal.

In today’s world, things are not normal and the dangers posed by this silent killer are all too real.

Those sloughing off the threat and not taking the danger seriously are putting at risk everyone in their community, and the entire Kivalliq for that matter.

And we’re not talking the flu shot here either, where the bug may have skipped Australia and is laughing at the fact your flu shot can do nothing to help stop its spread, herd mentality or no herd mentality.

COVID-19 is a different animal altogether and is relentless in its attack.

At present there is no vaccine or natural health product authorized to treat or prevent against COVID-19, although there are at least 30 countries and academic institutions currently trying to develop a vaccine.

Even if a vaccine was to be found and its development fast-tracked, it would take a minimum of 18 months before it would be ready to be administered to the public.

While COVID-19 isn’t especially deadly – it still has a lower death rate than the coronavirus outbreaks of SARS and MERS – it has surpassed influenza in the fatality department, with influenza having a global case fatality rate of about 0.1 per cent and COVID-19 having a global case fatality rate of 3.4 per cent, according to the World Health Organization.

However, its ability to spread is nothing less than staggering.

In the short time since COVID-19 was released upon the world from a live food market in China, it has spread to more than 70 countries and, as of this writing, 704,074 cases have been recorded worldwide, with 33,222 known fatalities.

It is almost miraculous that, as of press time, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, given the staple that air travel is in our daily lives.

That is especially true in Rankin Inlet; the transportation hub for the Kivalliq, which also serves passengers on their way to and from Winnipeg, Iqaluit, Edmonton and Ottawa, among many other destinations.

Should COVID-19 gain a foothold in our region, its spread across the Kivalliq and points beyond holds the promise to be one of light speed should we all not do our part to battle the coronavirus by every means currently at our disposal.

Flippant attitudes in this regard could possibly lead to the deaths of a number of loved ones in our region, many of which could possibly come from within the ranks of our elders.

For those out there who won’t take COVID-19 seriously enough to take precautions for themselves despite the rising statistics regarding the disease, maybe the thought of losing a loved one to the virus may nudge them in the right direction.

Food for thought.