Video Message from the Governor General of Canada Julie Payette During the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 25, 2020
Dear fellow Canadians,
As you are all well aware, we find ourselves in a complex and difficult situation. We are facing an invisible adversary that threatens our way of life. It is already affecting us with full force.
By now, a new reality has set in here in Canada, and like everywhere else, we are adapting.
We are fortunate that our governments have responded vigorously. You can be sure that decision makers and community leaders throughout the country are preparing for all possible scenarios and are monitoring the situation closely.
But we also need you, every single one of you, to help hold a line. Because this virus does not know borders, or timeline, or colour, or nationality. It zeros in on the most vulnerable of us, but it lives everywhere. Not just on people, but on doorknobs and table counters. It is a clever beast that we cannot underestimate.
We know, however, that the spread of the virus can be slowed down.
So what should we do?
You already know the drills: stay at home, wash your hands. Stay informed and follow the directives of public health officials. Keep away from people other than your immediate family. Resist – and this is really important – resist the temptation to visit friends and neighbours.
And trust science. With time, the virus will be defeated. Scientists are working on it frantically, among them are some of our brightest Canadian researchers.
Now, these “social distancing” measures that we all have to bear right now – they may seem drastic at times, but they are absolutely necessary, and they make all the difference. Trust the data, they do much more than just protect you. They protect the entire society because, one, they curb the transmission rate of the virus; two, they ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed by a huge number of patients at the same time; and three, they allow time, precious time, to develop treatments and a viable vaccine. But all these measures only work if we all do it.
I know I speak for all of you in expressing immense gratitude to all those who work on the frontline, nurses, doctors, scientists, health care professionals – our guardian angels. Thank you to the first responders and to the essential service providers who take care of everything else around us, and to the journalists and experts who keep us informed. Finally, kudos to all of you who are following the rules and keeping your distance.
Now, we have to be realistic: things are not going to be easy in the coming weeks.
But this is not the time to let our guard down.
This is the time to stay the course, to be patient and disciplined, to stay united, no matter how hard it is.
This situation might very well last a while. But we in Canada have seen uncertain times before and we will prevail. We have the will. We have the spirit.
So take advantage of technology to stay in touch. Call your family and your friends. Share stories online…
But please stay put and convince your teenagers to do the same.
We are all part of the resistance against this virus.
Help each other, stay safe, take care.