Flags are at half-mast today for the National Day of Observance for COVID-19 in Canada.

It’s been one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) first declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.

It’s hard to imagine that just one year ago, phrases like ‘social distancing’ and ‘novel coronavirus’ were new, and quarantining wasn’t so normal.

Or that most Canadians would be out their jobs, their livelihoods, and fearful of an unpredictable virus.

Today, Canada half-masts their flags – a symbol of respect, mourning, distress, or salute – for all those affected by COVID-19.

“Every Canadian we lost to this virus will be remembered. Every shift done by a frontline nurse, every mask made by a Canadian worker will not be forgotten. We are stronger together, today, tomorrow and always,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.

All Government of Canada buildings and establishments in Canada and abroad are half-mast from sunrise until sunset today.

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected 118,886,960 people and claimed the lives of 2,636,186.

Canada has seen over 899,000 cases and 22,636 have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

BC has seen a total of 85,650 infections and, on Monday, commemorated a full year since the first BC resident died from COVID-19; it has since grown to 1,394 deaths.

The City of Victoria have participated in the National Day of Observance and half-mast their flags too:

VicPD shared an image of their flags half-mast at their headquarters:

Around the world, some countries begin easing restrictions.

Australians have returned to life with large-gatherings, and this week, the US CDC began to recommend lifting restrictions for vaccinated people in the US.

The question is when Canada will be safe to return to their pre-COVID lives.

In BC, Dr. Henry says that the USA’s CDC guidelines are reasonable, that restrictions like that will be achievable after one-dose, but that BC isn’t there yet.

BC’s active cases have remained around 4,000+ for several months but the government announced today it is four days ahead of schedule after months of uncertainty in the shipments of doses.

Canada continues to increase vaccination in its citizens. As of today, 1 out of 20 adults in Canada has been vaccinated so far.

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