Coverage of COVID-19

Pandemic shines light on problems in long-term care facilities
COVID-19, Health, News

Pandemic shines light on problems in long-term care facilities

Veteran Fraser (Tommy) Gray, 88, a paratrooper with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Korean War, was among 300 residents and nearly 100 staff members who contracted COVID-19 in an Ontario long-term care home. Hospitalized for weeks, Gray was fortunately not among the 78 residents of Orchard Villa in Pickering, Ont., who died. Outbreaks were declared at Orchard Villa’s long-term care and retirement homes in the first week of April and declared over June 11.    Orchard Villa was one of the worst-hit long-term care homes in Ontario, and among five to receive help from 275 members of Canadian Armed Forces medical teams beginning April 28. In mid-May, 1,400 CAF members were also in 25 facilities in Quebec. By the end of June, 55 of them had contracted the virus. In late...
Climate anomaly caused <br> WW I mud, flu pandemic: study
COVID-19, Front Lines

Climate anomaly caused
WW I mud, flu pandemic: study

The First World War is synonymous with torrential rain, deathly deep mud and bitter cold. It seems no stalemate or major battle was without these added miseries that brought with them disproportionate infection, disease and death. Now a new scientific study says a once-in-a-lifetime climate anomaly is to blame for the horrendous weather that contributed to hundreds of thousands of battlefield deaths and the 1918 Spanish flu (H1N1) pandemic that cost tens of millions of lives worldwide. The eight scientists from universities at Cambridge, Mass.; Nottingham, England; and Orono, Maine, found their evidence in core samples of glacial ice taken from the Swiss and Italian Alps. Traces of sea salt found in the samples indicate the highest influx of cold marine air from the North...
Progress in the fight against malaria
COVID-19, Military Health Matters

Progress in the fight against malaria

In June, military researchers in the United States announced that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready for testing on humans before the end of the year. That same month, The Lancet, the prestigious medical journal, announced a new approach to fight malaria. The mosquito-borne disease infected an estimated 216 million people globally in 2018, claiming 405,000 lives. (In comparison, by July 21, 2020, there were more than 14.5 million COVID-19 cases, and more than 600,000 deaths.) Deaths from malaria were halved in the past decade—a dramatic reduction in the annual death rate of a scourge that has plagued humankind since the dawn of history—but it has still killed millions, mostly in Africa and mostly children, since 2000. One scientist has estimated malaria could account for the deaths o...
Dominion convention and other events rescheduled
COVID-19, News

Dominion convention and other events rescheduled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Dominion Convention has been rescheduled to Aug. 12-19, 2021, at the TCU Place convention centre in Saskatoon. All other arrangements will be the same as planned. The following convention will be in 2024 in order to resume dominion conventions in even-numbered years. Senior elected officers of Dominion Command will retain their offices until the convention. Provincial commands will make their own decisions about their conventions scheduled in 2021. National Headquarters has released $3 million in emergency funds to help struggling branches. Branches should contact their provincial command if they have need. Dominion Executive Council made the unprecedented decision to release the money from the Legion’s reserves in order to provide non-refundabl...
Weathering the storm
COVID-19, Editorial

Weathering the storm

"Within the Legion, I have witnessed and learned of countless heartfelt initiatives to help our veterans and communities weather this storm.” With those words, Tom Irvine, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, captured the essence of the generosity and camaraderie that runs through Canada’s military and veteran community, particularly in these troubled times. Branches across the country have been shuttered since mid-March, and many face dire financial strain without their income from functions and fundraising, their savings being depleted to pay bills. Some, already on the precipice due to declining memberships, likely won’t survive this blow. (Dominion Executive Council has created a $3-million support fund for struggling branches.) But that hasn’t kept members from doing good wor...
Face to Face: Should Canada’s military be restructured to increase its response to health crises  and natural disasters?
COVID-19, Face to Face

Face to Face: Should Canada’s military be restructured to increase its response to health crises and natural disasters?

ERNIE REGEHR is senior fellow with The Simons Foundation of Vancouver and co-founder of Project Ploughshares. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces declared it was ready to mobilize up to 24,000 troops to “assist with humanitarian support, wellness checks, natural disaster responses and other tasks as required.” By mid-April, Canadian Rangers were assisting pandemic response efforts in Northern Quebec communities and CAF medical teams were deploying to alleviate staffing shortages in long-term care centres. Manitoba floods, Toronto snowstorms, eastern ice storms, western forest fires, Northern Ontario drinking water emergencies—all these have involved military mobilizations in support of civilian authorities. The 1991 renewal of the Canada-U.S. Norad agreement a...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.