This year’s annual report describes the heavy toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Canadian society, both directly and through the steps taken to mitigate its effect. Through this challenging time, there has been incredible collaboration across sectors and between individuals, community organizations, businesses, governments and scientists. The aim of this report is to suggest opportunities to build on this collaboration to strengthen our nation’s preparedness for future public health emergencies. In doing so, we can build a stronger society for all Canadians.
This report draws on previous work, which demonstrates that the health of Canadians is dependent on a set of fundamental social determinantsFootnote1Footnote2. COVID-19 has underscored the inequities in health that are shaped by these determinants, highlighted how these inequities may be exacerbated in the context of a pandemic, and shown how they can aggravate and prolong the spread of disease, making the pandemic worse.