March 11, 2022 marks our second National Day of Observance for those in our communities and around the world who have died, became ill, or are still suffering from the COVID pandemic.

It is a day of thanks for all of the front line workers, first responders, and health care workers who risked their well-being to support our Mississauga community.

Many suffered financially through the crisis. The mental health of many people of all ages have been impacted greatly.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health issued the following statement to reflect on the two years that have passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic:

“Today, on the second National Day of Observance for COVID-19, we take time to mourn the people we lost, as well as recognize those who got sick, and those who are still suffering from long COVID-19. This is also the day where we recognize and show gratitude to our health care workers who sacrificed so much, and spent two years on the front lines to protect us all. I invite everyone in Canada to reflect on the significant impacts we have felt―and continue to experience-since the onset of the pandemic, both in our professional and personal lives.”

For two years now, COVID-19 has dominated our daily lives. It has strained our health care systems, disrupted our economy, and changed the way we interact every day.

However, we have reason to be hopeful about the future, because we are in a very different place now than in March 2020.

Today, we know more about COVID-19 than ever before. We have safe, effective vaccines and a highly vaccinated population. We have testing and surveillance tools that allow us to identify new variants of concern, and track the spread of the virus. We also have new treatments that can help keep patients from getting seriously ill. Thanks to our collective efforts, Canada successfully implemented the largest immunization campaign in our country’s history, with nearly 85% of eligible people in Canada fully vaccinated.

As much as I would like to be able to say that we can turn the page on the pandemic, that would not be accurate. The future remains uncertain, because COVID-19 is unpredictable.

Our government will keep making decisions based on the best science, and adjust our advice and public health measures based on the evolution of the virus.

And after two years of following individual public health measures―such as choosing to be vaccinated, wearing masks, keeping our distance, and staying home when sick-Canadians know what to do to keep themselves and each other safe. I encourage Canadians everywhere to keep using all the tools we now have at our disposal to live with the virus.

In closing, I particularly want to recognize the tremendous and sustained work of our health care providers throughout the pandemic. I hope you will join me in recognizing and thanking our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, personal support workers, as well as all the frontline and essential workers who put their lives on the line to protect Canadians. Canadians working in health care have made significant personal sacrifices by putting themselves and their families at risk and working extremely long hours―often under great stress-to help people in Canada get through the worst of the pandemic.

A lot has changed in two years. Thank you for continuing to do your part. Canadians will see this pandemic through, together. I remain hopeful, determined, and proud of what we have accomplished together so far.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.

We take this day to be grateful for what we have, mourn the loss of those who are no longer with us, and continue to be supportive of those who continue to suffer.

Be safe, be well.

#ApartTogether we hope for brighter days ahead and that an end to the pandemic is near.

If you have any COVID stories or images to share, please send them to [email protected]