By Bird Bouchard
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Ridgetown Independent
Two years after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, local officials reminisced about the lengthy battle to keep residents safe.
According to Chatham-Kent medical officer of health Dr. David Colby, the initial mortality estimates were a concern as there was no road map to handle the pandemic.
“I think the biggest fear from my perspective was not knowing how this was going to roll out. This idea of the coronavirus going pandemic and causing subsequent waves was something I did not anticipate,” said Colby.
Mayor Darrin Canniff agreed with Colby that death was his biggest concern. He said it’s hard to believe we’re still talking about the pandemic two years later.
“If you look at something with a high death rate, then what happens if the supply chain starts breaking down? That was my biggest concern going into the pandemic… if you have empty grocery stores and you have a number of different things happening like that,” said Canniff.
CKHA President and CEO Lori Marshall said she was filled with apprehension and concern at the pandemic’s beginning. Despite this, she said she was confident her staff would manage the pandemic like professionals in order to help save lives.
“Two years later, such great pride in our organization and our community because we’ve had a dramatically different experience in Chatham-Kent than some other areas of the province, the country, or the world,” Marshall said.