New COVID-19 Advocacy Group Launches To Fill Gaps Left By the Pandemic

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) welcomes a new national non-profit with a focus on Covid-19 in a post-pandemic world.

The Canadian Covid Society launched on March 6th, with a mission to “strive to protect the health and safety of people in Canada against the harms of Covid-19 and long-Covid, through education, engaging and empowering the public and organizations with scientific knowledge.”

In a press release, the group says that Covid advocacy has been limited to grassroots organizations “Trying to fill the informational gaps where Public Health has been absent, educating the public about risks in schools and workplaces, airborne transmission and how to prevent it, long-Covid and the like. They have played a critical role in keeping all of us safe and pushing for better policy at all levels of government.

“But volunteers, working off the sides of their desks, caring for families, working full-time jobs, subject to burnout and long-Covid, can’t do this forever. It is time for a formal organization, funded by donations and grants, staffed by dedicated experts who can do the work that needs to be done in the years and decades ahead. Making the change we need to see, to navigate the long road ahead.”

The group has five founders:

  • Joe Vipond, and emergency doctor from Calgary.
  • Chris Houston, a humanitarian worker with Doctors Without Borders.
  • Cheryl White, A professional engineer.
  • Nancy Delagrave, A college physics professor with a specialty in air quality health and safety initiatives.
  • and Dr. Kashif Pirzada, an emergency physician based in Toronto.

White is a cancer survivor who was in active treatment at the onset of the pandemic. The Society’s website says that this informs her passion to reduce transmission in healthcare, other workplaces, education, and community settings.

On their website, the Canadian Covid Society says the disease is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. “There have been nearly 30 million excess deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic. While the acute phase of the pandemic has ended, the virus continues to cause significant chronic illness.”

This is something the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network knows all too well. After five Leger surveys on Covid-19’s disruption of cancer care, the Network is very aware that Cancer Can’t Wait.  Governments must make sure that cancer care is not disrupted during emergencies, and that this pledge is implemented in emergency preparedness plans across the country.

For more information on the Canadian Covid Society, click here.