Human cost of pandemic driven home by powerful photo

CALGARY — On a day when the COVID-19 numbers were grim, a single photograph captured the challenging historical moment Alberta is living through.

It came in the form of a tweet sent out by Alberta Health Services, after a day in which there were more confirmed COVID-19 cases in a single 24-hour period than any other day in the pandemic, 1,155.

The tweet from Alberta Health Services featured a photograph of Dr. Simon Demers-Marcil in an intensive care unit, phoning a family to tell them that a loved one has succumbed to COVID-19.

“Help prevent the spread of #COVID-19ab,” it said, “by following all public health measures.”

Alberta’s top doctor, Dr.Deena Hinshaw, spoke about it at her COVID-19 update Friday.

“They and everyone else who has lost a loved one recently must navigate the experience without many of the ways we normally comfort one another. I encourage all of us to reach out to anyone we know who is grieving a loss to let them know they are not alone.”

Hinshaw reiterated that the rapidly-escalating COVID-19 numbers pose a challenge for the provincial health care system.

“Demand for COVID-19 is still high, and the system is taxed,” she said.

Currently, there are 3,405 active cases in the city of Calgary. There have been 166 deaths.

There are 4,272 active cases in the Calgary zone.

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