Coronavirus pandemic ‘really sucks’ and could impact holiday gatherings: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the global COVID-19 pandemic “really sucks,” and could jeopardize large gatherings with friends and family over Christmas on the heels of a toned-down Thanksgiving season.

Acknowledging frustrations around partial lockdowns and scrapped Halloween plans in some parts of the country, Trudeau said Tuesday that Canadians need to gird themselves for a “tough winter ahead.”

“It’s frustrating to have to explain to your kids in many parts of the country, like here in Ottawa, that we’re not going to be trick-or-treating this weekend. And it’s frustrating knowing that unless we’re really, really careful, there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas,” Trudeau said at a news conference.

“My six-year-old asked me as few weeks ago, `Dad, is COVID-19 forever?’ I mean, he’s in Grade 1, this was supposed to be his big year as a big boy, and they’re not even singing in his classroom.”

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities, despite frustrations over conflicting information on Halloween as well as COVID-19 testing requirements for students.

Trudeau’s remarks come as Canada verges on 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s second wave continues to wash over the country.

Ontario is reporting 827 new cases of COVID-19 today, and four new deaths due to the virus, pushing the total number of fatalities to 9,996 as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Quebec, where residents in its biggest cities will have to live with partial lockdowns for at least another four weeks, is reporting 963 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Trudeau sought to spur hope as winter looms.

“We will get through this. Vaccines are on the horizon. Spring and summer will come and they will be better than this winter,” he said.

But the current situation he summed up with a single verb.

“This sucks. It really, really does.”

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