The last 10 months have been rough. They were chaotic, anxious, deadly months; months that cost Canada hundreds of billions of dollars and more than 13,500 lives. And we got off easy: more than 1.6 million people have died as the international scientific community rallied together in a race to find a vaccine. While the lucky among us sat imprisoned on our couches, millions of researchers, government bureaucrats, health-care workers and military minds spent overworked days trying to figure out how, at the end of these 10 months of anxiety and isolation, they could ultimately get a shot in the upper left arm of Anita Quidangen. She made history Monday when she sat down in a cleared-out office at University Health Network in Toronto to receive Canada’s first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Toronto-based personal support worker, who’s spent 32 years in the field, was one of five frontline health-care workers to receive a shot in the arm and a round of applause. It’s a moment many have waited for and few thought could really happen in 2020: development, clinical trials and regulatory approval of a vaccine that should have taken years, but instead took 10 months. Ten rough months. The pandemic is still raging worse than ever before, and great toil and sacrifice lie ahead. But at least now we have hope—real, tangible hope. If you want proof, just ask Anita.
One small shot for Anita. One giant dose of hope for humankind.
Image of the Week: A personal support worker gets Ontario's first anti-COVID inoculation as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrives in locations across Canada