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Covid-19 Cannot Be Eradicated

This summer, covid-19 cases rapidly declined across the country (even in the absence of lockdowns) and it appeared that Canadians had finally won the "war" against the virus. Unfortunately, winter had other plans. By now there's no denying that covid-19, like other coronaviruses, is seasonal and here to stay. 

It has always been impossible to vaccinate 100% of the Canadian population, because there will always be people with contraindications (allergies and other medical conditions) and people with moral/religious objections. Booster shots make full coverage even more implausible, as many Canadians don't want to get a new vaccine every 6 months.

Even if every single Canadian was vaccinated, the virus would continue to circulate among other countries that lack the resources, infrastructure, and personnel necessary to vaccinate everyone.

Furthermore, even if every human being on the planet was vaccinated, the virus would continue to circulate and mutate in animals. Covid-19 has infected many species including deer, mink, cats, and dogs. The virus has been found in deer populations in Quebec and multiple US states. This makes the eradication of covid-19 completely impossible. 

The good news is the vast majority of Canadians now have some degree of immunity, either through vaccination or infection. The omicron variant also appears to be less severe, according to doctors and multiple studies

Moving forward into the new year, we need to work hard to increase healthcare capacity, immediately and long-term. We need to recognize that government-imposed restrictions are short-term solutions at best, and ineffective and harmful at worst. We also need to address other health crises that have been exacerbated by lockdowns, particularly deteriorating mental health and the huge rise in opioid overdoses.