COVID-19 IN CANADA: CNN medical correspondent explains where we stand

The Weather Network's Rachel Schoutsen and CNN’s senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, take a close look at how Canada is coping with COVID-19.

COVID-19 is running rampant across North America. When comparing the numbers in Canada and the United States, it's easy to see who is having a harder time with this pandemic --even taking into account the larger population.

As of early April, the skyrocketing cases south of the border are in no comparison to what we are expiring here in Canada.

“One thing I think Canada has going for it is the single payer system,” said CNN’s senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen in an exclusive interview with The Weather Network.

CNN and Rachel Schoutsen

“I think when you have a single payer system, it is easier to mobilize forces. It is easier to decide who gets what resources and give directives when it is all coming from one health care system.”

In our interview we also asked Cohen her thoughts about SARS and what the nation learned from that outbreak. She quickly remarked at how much harder Canada was hit with SARS than the United States. She then linked the “easy” time the U.S. had with SARS to possibly their demise now.

“It’s quite possible the United States learned the wrong lessons with SARS,” said Cohen.

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She explained that when SARS reached the U.S., the virus was fairly easy to control. This may have influenced the mindset of many. This mindset unfortunately was not the right way to be thinking about COVID-19.

“Whenever you experience a difficult time, I am speaking personally or as a nation, you have to decide on an approach. And I think that Canada probably learned from [their approaches] with SARS. There are certain truths that were learned,” she added.

While the numbers in Canada are disappointing, as we look south of the border, we can see how things could be worse.

Cohen agreed that physical distancing is truly our best practice right now for reducing the spread of this virus.

“A vaccine is not coming for at least a year, to a year and a half. Various treatments are being tried but we do not know if they are going to work,” she explains.

Watch the video above for a look at our conversation with Elizabeth Cohen of CNN.

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