London Mayor Ed Holder Issues Statement on National Day of Observance
Our Canadian flag has been lowered to half-mast outside City Hall as Canada marks a national day of observance to commemorate those who have died of COVID-19.
It was on this day, one year ago, that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since then, we’ve all desperately missed loved ones, family and friends. We’ve sacrificed the potential for countless memories, and experiences that could have been, if not for the virus. We’ve seen our kids unable to enjoy their favourite activities, family breakdowns, and mental health deterioration. Businesses have gone under, while women and men across our City have become unemployed.
To date, we have lost 185 lives in London-Middlesex, and more than 22,300 across Canada.
While we honour their memories in a number of ways, there is no greater tribute than continuing to follow public health guidelines. This minimizes the risk of more lives being lost, and more families being impacted by COVID-19. This is also the best way we can acknowledge the phenomenal efforts of our health-care heroes, our essential service workers, our London Police, London Firefighters and Paramedic Services. Those who keep showing up, day after day, working extremely long hours, missing their family members, and making significant sacrifices all while under immense stress and scrutiny. We will remain forever grateful.
On this sombre one year anniversary, I am also optimistic and hopeful. There’s more of this behind us than lays before us. We could not say that with confidence just a few months ago. We can now. Thanks to vaccines, combined with ongoing advancements in treatments and rapid testing, we know how this ends, and we know – approximately – when. More than anything else, we know with certainty that this has an end.