Dr. Kieran Moore. Screenshot

Solidarity key in COVID fight, Dr. Moore tells Royackers Lecture

  • January 20, 2022

Ontario’s long battle with COVID has climaxed and will significantly wind down between now and March, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore told a virtual audience Jan. 19.

“I do see hope now in mid-January that we may have peaked,” Moore said as he delivered the annual Royackers Lecture in honour of Jesuit Fr. Martin Royackers, who was murdered in front of St. Theresa’s parish church in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, June 20, 2001. The annual lecture is presented by the graduate faculty of theology at Regis College.

Moore thanked Ontarians for their solidarity in following public health restrictions and embracing vaccination, which he said will likely protect the population from future variants of the virus that has killed at least 5.5 million people worldwide over the last two years.

“We’re on the downward slope and building community immunity, which will help us with any future variants,” Moore said.

Both the natural immunity built up through infections and 5.7 million Ontarians with three doses of vaccine will help put COVID in the rear view mirror. But Moore did warn there is no guarantee.

“You never know with this virus. You stay humble,” he said.

Moore praised Royackers’ life dedicated to raising up the poor and excluded in Jamaica. The values that drove the murdered priest guide public health doctors, he said.

“He was living and breathing public health, even though he wasn’t a physician,” said Moore.

The primary value that has kept Canadian death rates lower than in the United States and the United Kingdom has been solidarity. The Americans have endured 260.16 deaths per 100,000, the UK 228.95 per 100,000 and Canada 84.77 per 100,000 according to a mortality analysis by Johns Hopkins University.

“Having lived through this pandemic, having worked through this pandemic, I think it is the solidarity that has brought us through,” said Moore.

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