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“Behave as if COVID-19 was already in your community” advises Scott Moe.

“We should take preventative measures as if this (COVID-19) where in our community, no matter the size of the community.”

These were the serious words of Premier Scott Moe as government at both the Provincial and Federal level continue their massive efforts to flatten the curve for the spread of COVID-19. The comment came in part as a response to a question about why the government is not releasing the detailed geographical information of the location of confirmed COVID-19 cases. A significant portion of the population of Saskatchewan has been asking for this information as anxiety continues to spread through communities in the province about exactly where the virus is spreading to.

Another reality is the arrival of snowbirds, as flights have continued to land and bring home those who were outside of Canada. Saskatchewan is, notably, one of the provinces with a high number of “snowbirds”, people who travel south to milder climate in the winter months. Now, the concern is starting to be if there will be a spike in the numbers of COVID-19 cases as these travellers, many of them considered high risk because of their age group, are finally able to come home.

Dr. Shahab, Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, explained they cannot speak as to any possible spike in cases due to returning snowbirds, but that they will continue to monitor the situation and mandatory isolation is still in effect for anyone returning outside of Canada.

This latest conference comes as even more announcements from government are made surrounding COVID-19. A list of businesses not deemed essential and that are ordered to close is being provided, and new numbers are in place for assistance for businesses and individuals with non-health related concerns surrounding COVID-19; finally, any type gathering of more than 10 people, is not allowed (social gatherings are extremely discouraged at this point in time, and this restriction now applies to spaces such as businesses that are to remain open).

The message continues to be clear: stay home, practice social distancing. At this point we are not just being cautioned, but seriously warned about avoiding unnecessary contact and continuing with social distancing practices.

The warning is not an exaggeration, all the evidence points to the fact that COVID-19 will be coming to all of our communities and as long as people in the community continue to congregate, children continue to be allowed outside to play alongside their friends, and residents continue to take trips to stores “just to get out” the danger is not being avoided, it might actually be encouraged to come into our communities with greater force than if we had all listened and stayed home.

As the situation continues to develop, government, media, celebrities, and businesses at large are continuing to urge people to take the threat seriously, and to follow the guidelines which, as inconvenient as they might seem, will save lives.

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