Chair's Message – COVID-19 Second Wave

We are in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19. Hot spots in the Province – Toronto, York Region, Peel, Ottawa and now Durham and Halton are facing high new case numbers, and some pressure on their hospitals, but are not overwhelmed yet. Nevertheless, restrictions in those areas are in place. It is thought that the cases we are seeing now are as a result of gatherings over the Thanksgiving weekend.

London Middlesex has done well comparatively, and hospitalizations have remained low, so there is no significant pressure on beds. Officials are still keeping in mind the modelling by Lauren Cipriano, from Ivey Business School, and Wael Haddera, from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), which indicated a most likely scenario of 25-40 in ICU with 50-60 in hospital as a middle-of-the-road peak but timing is uncertain, and this has to be watched carefully. Some restrictions have been introduced locally for gyms, recreation facilities, bars and restaurants in an effort to get ahead of this.

Although it is somewhat comforting to think that London Middlesex can isolate itself from general trends, this is likely a false sense of security. As cases rise across the country, the likelihood of further spread also rises. So, wash your hands frequently, pay attention to physical distancing, wear masks in public and get your flu shot. Another important step would be to avoid gathering in public beyond your immediate household.

In the Department of Family Medicine our doctors and clinics are doing a good job of balancing the public health recommendations with the need to provide patient care. Family practices in our Department are providing service approximately 60 per cent virtually and 40 per cent in person, and gradually increasing the in-person services with appropriate precautions. We are getting anecdotal reports that patients are coming to ER with complaints of not being able to see their family doctors, which is not likely the case for our own patients, (DFM).  I think, personally, we should be bringing patients in more, in a safe way, and/or utilizing video technology more to make sure our residents are getting good education and to enhance patient satisfaction and quality of care. As anxiety in the general public rises, family doctors can instill confidence in their patients through a blend of virtual care and seeing patients in person more frequently as we enhance our safety measures.

There continues to be an overwhelming amount of information, reports, and guides from various sources about COVID-19 and it is hard to keep up with it all. Consult the London Middlesex PCA website for a list of many resources.

As always I welcome your comments and feedback at or Twitter @DOCSJW.