Transcript: COVID-19: The News Behind the Numbers | Apr 30, 2021

Nam sits in a room with gray walls and houseplants in the background. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length straight brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a dark green blazer over a black blouse, and two necklaces.

A caption on screen reads "COVID-19: The news behind the numbers. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says DURING THIS COVID-19 THIRD WAVE, WE'VE HEARD A LOT OF NUMBERS, FROM CASE COUNTS IN THE ICU, TO THE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE GETTING VACCINATED, AND TO RATES OF SPREAD FOR THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN. WITH US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THESE FACTS AND FIGURES: IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL: DR. ISAAC BOGOCH, INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN AT THE UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK AND A SCIENTIST BASED OUT OF TORONTO GENERAL HOSPITAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

Isaac is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with wavy brown hair. He's wearing blue medical scrubs.

Nam continues AND ASHLEIGH TUITE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGIST AT U OF T'S DALLA LANA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH...

Ashleigh is in her thirties, with shoulder-length curly brown hair. She's wearing a black blouse.

Nam continues WELCOME BACK TO YOU BOTH.

Isaac says THANK YOU.

Ashleigh says THANK YOU.

Nam says IT'S BEEN A WEEK. LOTS OF NUMBERS TO GET INTO. IF THE DIRECTOR COULD PLEASE PUT THESE NUMBERS UP. WE WANT TO COMPARE WHAT'S GOING ON COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, APRIL 29TH, 2020, AND THEN THE THIRD WAVE, APRIL 29TH, 2021. SO...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "COVID-19: Then and now."

Nam reads data from the slate and says
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN ICU BEDS DURING THE FIRST WAVE WAS 235. IN THIS THIRD WAVE WE HAVE 884, AS OF APRIL 29TH. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON VENTILATORS IN THE FIRST WAVE WAS 186. AND THIS THIRD WAVE, WE HAVE 620. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS DURING THE FIRST WAVE WAS 996. THIS NUMBER IN THE THIRD WAVE IS ASTOUNDING. IT'S 8,029. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES DURING THE FIRST WAVE WAS 15,728. AND THIS THIRD WAVE, IT'S 459,447. THE NUMBER OF NEW CASES DURING THE FIRST WAVE WAS 347. ON APRIL 29TH, 2020. ON APRIL 29TH, DURING THIS THIRD WAVE, 2021, WE HAVE 3,871. LOTS OF NUMBERS TO BREAK DOWN AND I'M SO HAPPY THAT YOU BOTH ARE HERE FOR US TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THESE NUMBERS. ASHLEIGH, I WANTED TO START WITH YOU. IS THIS WHERE YOU THOUGHT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN A YEAR LATER?

The caption changes to "Ashleigh Tuite. Dalla Lana School of Public Health. University of Toronto."

Ashleigh says HONESTLY, NO. I MEAN, LOOKING AT THOSE NUMBERS AND THINKING BACK TO WHERE WE WERE A YEAR AGO, YOU KNOW, AT THAT POINT IN TIME, WE WERE ALL REALLY SCARED AND, YOU KNOW, THINKING ABOUT THIS, YOU KNOW, AS... YOU KNOW, WE DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHAT WAS IN STORE FOR US. I THINK WE KNEW... YOU KNOW, WE HAD THIS NEW INFECTIOUS DISEASE. WE KNEW IF WE DIDN'T BRING IT UNDER CONTROL, THAT THINGS WOULD BE A LOT WORSE THAN THEY WERE BACK LAST SPRING. BUT AT THE SAME TIME I THINK I HAD MORE OPTIMISM IN THE SENSE THAT WE WOULD HAVE SORT OF UNDERSTOOD THE VIRUS AND BEEN BETTER AT CONTROLLING IT. I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED A LOT IN ONTARIO. YOU KNOW, BACK IN THE SPRING, MOST OF THOSE CASES WERE HAPPENING... OR AT LEAST IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, THE DEATHS WERE HAPPENING IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. AND THAT'S REALLY SHIFTED. THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE MORE THAN A YEAR OUT AND WE'RE, YOU KNOW, EXPERIENCING THE WORST WAVE OF INFECTIONS THAT WE HAVE SINCE THE START IS NOT SOMETHING THAT I WOULD HAVE PREDICTED.

Nam says AND IT'S SHIFTED FOR I GUESS A NUMBER OF REASONS WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT VACCINES IN A LITTLE BIT. BUT, DR. BOGOCH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS, WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD?

The caption changes to "Isaac Bogoch. University Health Network."

Isaac says OBVIOUSLY THE THIRD WAVE HAS BEEN EXTREMELY CHALLENGING. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT SOME OF THOSE NUMBERS ARE CUMULATIVE NUMBERS OVER THE ENTIRE COURSE OF THE PANDEMIC AND NOT JUST REFLECTIVE OF THE THIRD WAVE. SO THAT'S AN IMPORTANT CAVEAT HERE. BUT HAVING SAID THAT, REGARDLESS OF HOW WE LOOK AT IT, THE THIRD WAVE IS TOUGH. WE'VE NEVER HAD THESE MANY CASES OF COVID-19 THAN EVER BEFORE IN ONTARIO. OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS NEVER BEEN THIS STRETCHED BEYOND CAPACITY. LIKE, WHAT HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ADULTS ADMITTED TO PEDIATRIC INTENSIVE CARE UNITS OR TENTS SET UP OUTSIDE OF HOSPITALS SO WE CAN DEAL WITH AN INFLUX OF PATIENTS. THEY'RE CANCELLING SURGERIES THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE SO WE HAVE AN ALL HANDS ON DECK APPROACH. WE'RE BRINGING IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS FROM OTHER PROVINCES TO REALLY HELP OUT. BY ANY METRIC, THIS THIRD WAVE IS MORE CHALLENGING THAN THE FIRST TWO WAVES. UNIQUE CHALLENGES, BUT SOME SIMILAR CHALLENGES AS WELL.

Nam says DO YOU THINK... I'M NOT GOING TO ASK IF WE WOULD HAVE AVOIDED THE THIRD WAVE, BUT DO YOU THINK IT COULD HAVE BEEN LESS IF WE HAD DONE DIFFERENT THINGS?

Isaac says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THERE WAS GOING TO BE A THIRD WAVE OR A THIRD WAVE-LET, AND A LOT OF THIS WAS PREVENTABLE. A LOT OF THIS IS RELATED TO POLICY IN TERMS OF JUST GIVING THIS VIRUS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSMIT. NOW, VARIANTS OF CONCERN WERE ENCROACHING ON THE RATIO OF COVID-19 OR SARS-COV-2 CASES IN THE TWO PROVINCES AND I WOULD SAY GRADUALLY ENCROACHING BUT THEY WERE RAPIDLY ENCROACHING AND CERTAINLY MADE THINGS MORE CHALLENGING. HAVING SAID ALL THAT, PEOPLE ARE OFTEN TREATING THIS AS IF IT'S A NEW VIRUS. IT ISN'T. WE KNOW HOW IT'S TRANSMITTED. WE KNOW WHERE IT'S TRANSMITTED. WE KNOW WHO IS AT RISK, WE KNOW NEIGHBOURHOODS AT RISK. WE KNOW HOW TO KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL. YEAH, IT'S HARDER WITH MORE TRANSMISSIBLE VARIANTS OF CONCERN, BUT WE STILL KNOW HOW TO KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL. SOME BUT NOT ALL OF THIS WAS PREVENTABLE. I DON'T THINK WE NEEDED TO BE AT WHERE WE'RE AT NOW.

Nam says ASHLEIGH, AS DR. BOGOCH SAID, OBVIOUSLY SOME OF THE NUMBERS ARE GOING TO BE HIGH OTHER BECAUSE IT'S A CUMULATIVE EFFECT. WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE THIRD WAVE, WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE NUMBERS THAT MAYBE WE WON'T BE ABLE TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHEN WE LOOK AT THEM?

Ashleigh says I MEAN, I THINK THE REALLY IMPORTANT THING WHEN LOOKING AT THOSE NUMBERS IS TO TRY TO TAKE A STEP BACK BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS EVERY DAY, AND YOU GET A BIT NUMB TO THEM. I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE HAD TOLD PEOPLE A YEAR AGO THAT WE WERE GOING TO SEE 3,000 OR 4,000 NEW CASES A DAY, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PRETTY SHOCKING. AND AT THIS POINT WE'RE NUMB. YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN THOSE NUMBERS. WE LOOK AT THEM ALL THE TIME. SO I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND THOSE NUMBERS, AND IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT, YOU KNOW, EACH OF THOSE PEOPLE IN HOSPITAL AND EACH OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN ICU OR EACH OF THOSE DEATHS, THOSE ARE REAL PEOPLE, AND THEY HAVE FAMILIES, THEY HAVE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM AND CARE ABOUT THEM. AND SO AS MUCH AS, YOU KNOW, WE'RE ALL TIRED AND FATIGUED AND ARE SORT OF MORE... YOU KNOW, I THINK THE GOAL POSTS HAVE CHANGED IN TERMS OF OUR WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT THE NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE'RE HAVING. WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THIS IS AFFECTING PEOPLE. IT'S AFFECTING THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INFECTED. AS WELL AS, YOU KNOW, HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE TREATING THEM. SO I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO LOOK BEYOND THE NUMBERS.

Nam says DR. BOGOCH, YOU KNOW, THIS PAST WEEK IT WAS REPORTED THAT MICHAEL GARRON HOSPITAL WAS TRANSFERRING THEIR PATIENTS TO OTHER HOSPITALS BECAUSE OF CONCERNS OF LOW OXYGEN SUPPLY. THEY HAD 20 INTENSIVE CARE UNITS IN A 17-BED ICU. SEVEN PATIENTS WERE SENT TO TWO OTHER HOSPITALS, SUNNYBROOK AND ST. MIKE'S'. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SEEING ON THE GROUND?

The caption changes to "Isaac Bogoch, @BogochIsaac."

Isaac says YEAH, A COUPLE POINTS. OBVIOUSLY... I MEAN, LIKE THIS ISN'T A COSTUME. I MEAN, WE'RE ALL WORKING LIKE DOGS IN THE HOSPITAL. IT'S NOT JUST DOCTORS AND NURSES. THERE'S HUGE TEAMS OF PEOPLE WORKING. THE ALLIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS, YOUR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS, YOUR SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST, RESPIRATORY SPECIALTIES AND PHARMACISTS ON AND ON AND ON. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO KEEP THE HOSPITAL GOING. THERE ARE LABORATORY EXPERTS. THERE ARE THE PEOPLE IN SHIPPING AND RECEIVING. THERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CLEANING THE HOSPITAL. LIKE, HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, WITH THAT HUGE UMBRELLA THAT ENCOMPASSES... WE'RE ALL EXHAUSTED. AND OF COURSE WE'RE NOT UNIQUE. EVERYONE IN ONTARIO IS EXHAUSTED. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S BUSY. TO SAY THE LEAST. IT'S BUSY. THERE ARE A LOT OF PATIENTS, YOU KNOW, YOU TALK TO ANY FRONT-FACING HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, WE'VE ALL HAD OUR SHARE OF VERY TRAGIC CASES AND, YOU KNOW, ZOOM DEATHS AND TOUGH FAMILY MEETINGS. IT'S BEEN TOUGH. IT'S BEEN VERY TOUGH. AND IT'S BEEN A VERY LONG PANDEMIC. INTERESTING WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS SITUATION AT MICHAEL GARRON HOSPITAL. FIRST OF ALL, I'M AT TORONTO GENERAL. I'M NOT AT MICHAEL GARRON. I'M NOT AN EXPERT ON OXYGEN OR SUPPLY CHAINS OF OXYGEN. THAT RAISED A LOT OF EYEBROWS. FULL DISCLOSURE. I CALLED A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO KNOW MORE THAN I DO AND ASKED WHAT'S THE DEAL? IT SOUNDS LIKE A VERY LOCAL ISSUE. IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE THIS IS A MORE SYSTEMIC ISSUE. I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE THAT MUCH OF THIS IN ONTARIO.

Nam says HOW ARE YOU COPING IN WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING THROUGH ALL OF THIS?

Isaac says CHICKEN WINGS AND LANGEVULIN? I DON'T WANT TO GIVE THE KNEE-JERK MIDDLE AGE MALE ANSWER OF I'M FINE. BUT, IN ALL FAIRNESS, I ACTUALLY AM. YOU GET UP, PUT ON YOUR WORK BOOTS, GO TO WORK. DAYS ARE BUSY. THAT'S FOR SURE. THERE ARE SOME DAYS THAT ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. THAT'S FOR SURE. PERSONALLY, I'M ACTUALLY DOING OKAY. I'M EXHAUSTED BUT I'M DOING OKAY.

Nam says ASHLEIGH, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Ashleigh says I'M FINE. YOU KNOW, I'M NOT ON THE FRONT LINES. I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO WORK AT HOME, YOU KNOW, AND I THINK FOR ME... I FEEL PRETTY HELPLESS, YOU KNOW? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP MORE AND I CAN'T. THE BEST I CAN DO IS SORT OF SHARE THE DATA THAT WE HAVE AND TRY TO MAKE PROJECTIONS ABOUT WHAT MAY BE HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE AND TRY TO ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE A VOICE. BUT BEYOND THAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY... I'M SORT OF, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE AUDIENCE IN TERMS OF WATCHING WHAT'S UNFOLDING IN THE PROVINCE.

Nam says WELL, YOU KNOW...

Isaac says I DON'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT. MAY I ADD ONE OTHER THING? I'M SO SORRY. JUST BECAUSE... MY LAST COMMENT. JUST BECAUSE I'M FINE, I'M JUST STATING THE OBVIOUS, IT DOESN'T MEAN EVERYONE IS FINE. LIKE, WE'RE NOT FINE. I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING. AND SOME OF IT IS MORE OBVIOUS THAN OTHERS. AND THIS IS EVERYBODY. IT'S NOT JUST HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. IT'S YOUR FRIENDS. IT'S YOUR NEIGHBOURS. IT'S YOUR FAMILY. AND, YOU KNOW, LIKE I MENTIONED, I DON'T THINK IT'S VERY OBVIOUS. SOMETIMES IT IS, BUT A LOT OF TIMES IT ISN'T. AND I REALLY HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY MEANINGFULLY CHECK IN ON OTHERS. NOT JUST THE, HEY, ARE YOU DOING OKAY KIND OF CHECK-IN, BUT LIKE A MEANINGFUL CHECK-IN TO SEE HOW OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING. BECAUSE IT'S CLEAR THAT WE'RE NOT OKAY AND PEOPLE DO NEED HELP AND I HOPE PEOPLE ARE ACCEPTING OF HELP AND ALSO REACHING OUT TO OTHERS TO TRULY SEE HOW EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING.

Nam says AND ALSO TOO I THINK WE SHOULD MENTION THAT THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF GOOD NEWS. THIS WEEK CHRISTINE ELLIOTT ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY THAT TOWARDS THE END OF MAY, VACCINES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE AGED 18 PLUS. ASHLEIGH, HOW CLOSE DOES THAT GET US TO AN END TO THIS?

Ashleigh says IT IS GOOD NEWS. AND I THINK WE NEED TO CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW, THE REALITY IS THAT, YOU KNOW, BY THE FALL, WE SHOULD HAVE MOST OF THE POPULATION WHO IS ABLE AND WILLING TO GET VACCINATED FULLY VACCINATED. AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO SEE A DECLINE IN CASES. YOU KNOW, WE'RE ALREADY SEEING A DECLINE IN CASES. THAT HASN'T TRANSLATED INTO WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN TERMS OF HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE DEMAND. BUT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, AND VACCINES ARE GOING TO HELP WITH THAT. THEY'RE GOING TO HELP A LOT. YOU KNOW, I THINK THE THING THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND IS THAT, YOU KNOW, DESPITE THE VACCINES AND OUR DESIRE TO JUST GET OVER THIS, WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE TO HAVE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES IN PLACE, YOU KNOW, AT THE SAME TIME THAT WE'RE VACCINATING. BUT I DO THINK THAT COME THE FALL, WE ARE GOING TO BE IN A MUCH BETTER POSITION THAN WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

Nam says DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT GETTING US TO HERD IMMUNITY?

Ashleigh says YEAH. I THINK IT'S INCREASINGLY UNLIKELY THAT WE WILL REACH HERD IMMUNITY, AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S A BAD THING, AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT SORT OF AS A WAY TO SCARE PEOPLE. BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT WE HEAR IS ONCE WE GET X PERCENT OF THE POPULATION VACCINATED AND THOSE TARGETS MOVE A BIT DEPENDING ON IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE NEW VARIANTS, WHICH ARE MORE TRANSMISSIBLE, WHICH MEANS MORE OF THE POPULATION WITH IMMUNITY. ONCE WE REACH HERD IMMUNITY, MAGIC WILL HAPPEN AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO LIVE NORMALLY AGAIN. ONCE WE HAVE ENOUGH OF THE POPULATION VACCINATED, THE VACCINES WORK REALLY WELL. THEY WORK REALLY WELL AT PREVENTING SEVERE OUTCOMES. AND EVEN, YOU KNOW, BEFORE WE REACH THAT THRESHOLD, IT'S GOING TO HAVE AN EFFECT. IT'S GOING TO RESULT IN A DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE SEE. YOU KNOW, THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC, WE'VE BEEN TALKING A LOT ABOUT EXPONENTIAL GROWTH. THE FLIP SIDE OF EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IS THAT WE CAN ALSO SEE EXPONENTIAL DECLINE. SO ONCE WE START HAVING ENOUGH IMMUNITY IN THE POPULATION VIA VACCINATION ALONG WITH THESE OTHER PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES, WE CAN START SEEING PRETTY RAPID DECLINES IN NUMBERS OF CASES. SO HERD IMMUNITY IS A THING TO AIM FOR AND I THINK IN THE LONGER TERM, HAVING HIGH LEVELS OF IMMUNITY IN THE POPULATION IS IMPORTANT, BUT IT'S NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL.

Nam says DR. BOGOCH, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO STRESS THE FACT THAT AFTER YOU GET YOUR FIRST VACCINE THAT YOU'RE NOT FULLY IMMUNE. WE'RE HEARING A LOT OF STORIES OF PEOPLE STOPPING THEIR PHYSICAL DISTANCING, WEARING MASKS AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET THAT MESSAGE OUT?

Isaac says IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WE KNOW THAT ONE DOSE OF A VACCINE, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHICH VACCINE IT IS, ONE DOSE OF A VACCINE IS REALLY HELPFUL. BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME AS TWO. AND YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE TWO DOSES OF THESE TWO-DOSE VACCINE SERIES TO REALIZE THE FULL POTENTIAL OF VACCINATION. SO AFTER ONE DOSE OF A VACCINE, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT INVINCIBLE. YOU STILL HAVE TO ADHERE TO THESE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES. AND IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. AND, LISTEN, THE ONE-DOSE VACCINE DOES A FEW THINGS, JUST LIKE TWO DOSES. IT REDUCES YOUR RISK OF GETTING THE INFECTION, JUST NOT THE SAME AS TWO DOSES. IT REDUCES YOUR RISK OF GETTING SICK AND BEING HOSPITALIZED. AGAIN, NOT THE SAME AS TWO DOSES. SO, YOU KNOW, VACCINES ARE POURING INTO THE COUNTRY. WE WILL ALL GET OUR SECOND DOSES. MANY OF US WILL STILL NEED TO GET OUR FIRST DOSES FIRST TOO. BUT THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN. AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE REAL INFLECTION POINT WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT A MONTH AGO, MARCH 22ND, WHICH IS WHERE WE WENT FROM A TRICKLE OF VACCINES INTO A RIVER. AND NOW AS WE MOVE INTO... FROM LATE APRIL INTO EARLY MAY, THAT IS GOING TO PICK UP THE PACE EVEN MORE, AND THEN OF COURSE WE KNOW WITH VACCINE SHIPMENTS IN JUNE, THAT'S GOING TO GROW EVEN MORE. IT'S LIKELY WE'RE GOING TO GET OUR SECOND DOSES FOR MANY... NOT EVERYONE, BUT FOR MANY OF US, MANY OF US WILL PROBABLY GET OUR SECOND DOSES BEFORE FOUR MONTHS. DON'T HOLD MY FEET TO THE FIRE BECAUSE I'M NOT 100 percent SURE ON THAT, BUT I THINK THAT MIGHT HAPPEN.

Nam says GEN-X SEEMS TO GET IGNORED. WHEN IT BECAME AVAILABLE TO OUR AGE GROUP, WE DID SEE IT. WE HAVE SEEN, DR. BOGOCH, LINEUPS FOR VACCINES IN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF BEING VACCINE HESITANT. BRAMPTON HAVE BEEN BEGGING FOR MORE SUPPLY OF VACCINES. THIS LAST WEEK WE HEARD A TRAGIC STORY ABOUT A FAMILY THAT WAS FORCED TO PAY A FAMILY COMPANY TO BRING THEIR FAMILY MEMBER'S BODY HOME AFTER HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO A HOSPITAL IN OTTAWA AND LATER DIED THERE OF COVID-19. I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE GETTING A BILL FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS DIED IN THIS PANDEMIC. AND THEN THERE'S BEEN THIS SICK DAY BATTLE WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND THEY FINALLY CONCEDED THIS WEEK, BUT EXPERTS ARE STILL SAYING THAT IT'S NOT ENOUGH. DR. BOGOCH, I DON'T WANT TO PUT YOU ON THE SPOT BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE ADVISED THE GOVERNMENT IN ITS RESPONSE TO THIS. AT WHAT POINT DO YOU FEEL THAT WHAT YOU'RE DOING ISN'T EFFECTIVE, AND HAVE YOU EVEN CONSIDERED MAYBE JUST QUITTING IF YOU'RE... WHAT YOU'RE SUGGESTING IS NOT BEING TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION?

Isaac says I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CAN DO A LOT MORE WITH A SEAT AT THE TABLE COMPARED TO SHOUTING FROM THE SIDELINES. SO, LISTEN. I MEAN, IT'S NO SECRET. I DO ADVISE. AND I'M NOT REALLY PRIVATE ABOUT WHAT I ADVISE. I'M PRETTY PUBLIC IN MEDIA AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT WHAT I STAND FOR. AND THAT'S WHAT I STAND FOR. SOMETIMES THEY LISTEN. SOMETIMES THEY DON'T. YOU TRULY CAN'T MAKE MEANINGFUL CHANGES WITHOUT A SEAT AT THE TABLE, AND I'M PRIVILEGED AND HAPPY TO HAVE THAT AND I'LL JUST KEEP PUSHING, PUSHING, PUSHING.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE IN ONTARIO... THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY PEOPLE, FOR THE MAJORITY OF ONTARIANS, THEY'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING. BUT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NUMBERS. WE SEE ALL THESE NUMBERS. RIGHT NOW IT JUST FEELS LIKE A REALLY HEAVY TIME AND PEOPLE FEEL HELPLESS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT POLITICIANS, AND WE... MAYBE SOME PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY'RE NOT IN CONTROL OF WHAT'S HAPPENING. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM ABOUT HOW TO HOLD ON IN THESE MOMENTS?

Isaac says THERE'S OBJECTIVE MEASURES THAT THIS IS GETTING BETTER. LIKE, IT ACTUALLY IS GETTING BETTER. IT'S NOT ABOUT TO GET BETTER. IT'S GETTING BETTER. RIGHT? WE ARE SEEING SMALL BUT REAL METRICS POINTING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION IN TERMS OF THE CASE NUMBERS, IN TERMS OF VACCINES ROLLING OUT. LISTEN, IT'S FAR FROM PERFECT. BUT WE ARE STARTING TO HEAD IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I APPRECIATE THAT PEOPLE CAN FEEL HELPLESS AT TIMES AND NOT IN CONTROL. AND THE REASON THEY FEEL THAT WAY IS BECAUSE THEY REALLY AREN'T IN CONTROL. THEY AREN'T. YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL CERTAIN THINGS RELATED TO WHAT YOU DO AND YOUR BEHAVIOUR, RIGHT? YOU CAN CONTROL PUTTING ON A MASK GOING INTO A GROCERY STORE. YOU CONTROL, YOU KNOW, NOT GOING OVER FOR A SOCIAL GATHERING INSIDE YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S APARTMENT. BUT OTHER THINGS ARE BEYOND OUR CONTROL. ESSENTIAL WORKERS HAVE TO GO TO WORK. RIGHT? YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNMENT POLICY IS WELL BEYOND MANY OF OUR REACH TO ALTER. THAT CAN BE VERY CHALLENGING. I APPRECIATE THAT CAN BE VERY FRUSTRATING AS WELL. HAVING SAID ALL THAT, ALL PANDEMICS END. THE PANDEMIC IN CANADA IS FAR FROM OVER, BUT IT IS WINDING DOWN. AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE VERY INTERESTING. LIKE, WE'RE ALMOST IN MAY. IT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THE BEGINNING OF MAY LOOKS LIKE VERSUS THE END OF MAY...

Nam says INTERESTING GOOD OR INTERESTING BAD?

Isaac says GOOD. SIGNIFICANT, POSITIVE, TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGES THROUGHOUT THE MONTH OF MAY.

Nam says BECAUSE I THINK ONE OF THE QUESTIONS HAS BEEN, A LOT OF CONCERN HAS BEEN OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM BEING OVERWHELMED BEFORE THE THIRD WAVE IS OVER. ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?

Isaac says YEAH. I'M LIVING IT RIGHT NOW. I MEAN, IT'S BUSY. AND, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GETTING TRANSFERS FROM OTHER HOSPITALS, EVEN IN THE GTA THERE ARE OVERWHELMED. OUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES AT SUNNYBROOK ARE NOW WORKING IN A TENT IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL. MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES WHO ARE INTENSIVE CARE UNITS FOR ADULTS ARE GOING OVER TO THE SICK KIDS HOSPITAL TO SEE ADULT PATIENTS IN THEIR ICUS. LIKE, THE SYSTEM IS OVERWHELMED. I THINK IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE HOSPITALS ARE CLOSED. WE'RE OPEN. WE NEVER CLOSE. IF SOMEONE IS SICK WITH COVID-19 OR NOT AND YOU NEED ATTENTION, COME ON IN. OUR DOORS ARE OPEN AND WE'RE HAPPY TO SEE YOU AND YOU WILL GET CARE FOR SURE. ALL IT MEANS IS THAT, YOU KNOW, ESSENTIAL SURGERIES AND... SORRY, SCHEDULED SURGERIES ARE BEING CANCELLED. RESOURCES ARE BEING DIVERTED TO REALLY CARE FOR AN INFLUX OF PATIENTS WITH COVID-19. WE'RE EXTREMELY BUSY. WE'RE EXTREMELY TIRED. BUT WE'RE STILL HERE AND WE'RE STILL HAPPY TO HELP. AND THAT MEANS FOR NON-COVID-RELATED ISSUES AS WELL: HEART ATTACKS, STROKES. YOU NAME IT. WE'RE HERE TO HELP AND THE DOORS ARE OPEN.

Nam says I'M GLAD YOU SAID THAT. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR THAT.

Isaac says OH, YEAH.

Nam says WE HAVE JUST A FEW MORE MINUTES BEFORE WE WRAP, BUT ASHLEIGH, THIS PAST WEEK THE WORLD WITNESSED WHAT'S HAPPENING IN INDIA. HORRIFIC IMAGES COMING OUT OF INDIA. THE DAILY CASES ARE ASTRONOMICAL. I THINK IN ONE DAY THERE WAS OVER 350,000 CASES IN JUST ONE DAY. WHAT CROSSES YOUR MIND WHEN YOU SEE THOSE REPORTS COMING OUT OF INDIA?

Ashleigh says I MEAN, I THINK I'M WITH EVERYBODY ELSE WHO IS SEEING THIS WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, THERE'S PROFOUND SADNESS AND ALSO ANGER I THINK THAT THIS WAS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN. WHAT WE'RE SEEING UNFOLD IN INDIA IS PREDICTABLE IN THE SENSE THAT THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET THE VIRUS SPREAD UNMITIGATED, IF YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING. OR IF YOU DO SORT OF MINIMAL ACTION. AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN INDIA IS REALLY PROBABLY NOT... YOU KNOW, SORT OF THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN TERMS OF WE KNOW THERE'S PROFOUND UNDERREPORTING. BUT WHAT HAPPENED THERE IS I THINK WHAT CAN HAPPEN IN A LOT OF PLACES, INCLUDING WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ONTARIO RIGHT NOW, IS THAT WE HAVE THIS SENSE OF EXCEPTIONALISM THAT FOR SOME REASON THE VIRUS BEHAVES DIFFERENTLY IN A PARTICULAR AREA. YOU KNOW, IN INDIA, THEY DIDN'T HAVE A LARGE AMOUNT OF VIRUS SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE WINTER, AND SO THE THOUGHT WAS THAT THEY HAD IMMUNITY AND THAT SOMEHOW THEY WOULD AVOID A SUBSEQUENT WAVE. AND THEY IGNORED EARLY SIGNS THAT ACTUALLY THE VIRUS WAS SPREADING. THEY WERE SEEING INCREASED CASES. AND, YOU KNOW, THEY DELAYED DOING ANYTHING. AND SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT'S HEARTBREAKING AND IT'S ALSO A CAUTIONARY TALE, WHICH IS THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND NOT HAVE THIS SENSE OF, YOU KNOW, FALSE OPTIMISM THAT, YOU KNOW, JUST BECAUSE THINGS LOOK OKAY RIGHT NOW THAT, YOU KNOW, THE SITUATION CAN'T CHANGE AND IT CAN'T CHANGE REALLY RAPIDLY.

Nam says DO YOU WORRY THAT THAT WOULD HAPPEN HERE?

The caption changes to "Ashleigh Tuite, @AshTuite."

Ashleigh says I MEAN, TO BE HONEST, I THINK IT'S SORT OF WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN ONTARIO. THAT'S WHAT THE THIRD WAVE WAS. IT'S NOT TO THE SAME DEGREE, OBVIOUSLY, BECAUSE WE HAVE RESPONDED. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY EASY TO TIP INTO THESE REALLY CATASTROPHIC SITUATIONS. AND SO WE'RE SEEING IT ON A SMALLER SCALE IN ONTARIO. SO, I MEAN, IT'S NOT REALLY A HYPOTHETICAL AT THIS POINT. I THINK IT'S, AGAIN, YOU KNOW... AND, YOU KNOW, INDIA IS THE LATEST EXAMPLE. BUT WE SAW IT IN NEW YORK, WE SAW IT IN ITALY, YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN IT AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE IT, AND IT REALLY IS THIS REMINDER THAT, YOU KNOW, UNTIL WE HAVE IMMUNITY, UNTIL ENOUGH OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION IS VACCINATED, WE'RE ALL VULNERABLE.

Nam says AND DR. BOGOCH, I'LL LET YOU HAVE THE LAST WORD. WE'VE GOT 20 SECONDS LEFT.

Isaac says THIS WILL GET BETTER AND IT WILL GET BETTER ON THE SOONER END RATHER THAN THE LONGER END. VACCINES ARE ROLLING OUT. CASE NUMBERS ARE GOING DOWN. IF WE HAVE DECENT POLICY AND DON'T REOPEN TOO FAST, WE'LL BE OKAY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Liane Kotler, @LianeKotler; Student Intern: Simone Gavros."

Nam says THANK YOU SO MUCH TO YOU BOTH. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING ONTO THE PROGRAM AND ALSO WE KNOW YOU'RE VERY BUSY AND YOU ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR US. WE'RE VERY, VERY GRATEFUL. THANK YOU.

Isaac says MY PLEASURE.

Watch: COVID-19: The News Behind the Numbers