My son is a health care worker. Today he was called into the manager’s office and informed a patient he transported without proper personal protection has tested positive for COVID19. He must now self isolate for 14 days. He is one of at least seventy, count 7-0 health care workers in one hospital so affected. So why did he not have any personal protection? Someone in the great scheme of bureaucracy and management decided it was too soon to “waste” PPE and so he and the rest of his coworkers were all denied the use of PPE. It gets worse because when his 14 days are up, assuming he doesn’t die of course, he still won’t get an N95 mask because there isn’t enough.
It wasn’t like he didn’t try to get proper PPE. He talked to his manager. He talked to his union representative. He shared peer reviewed scientific papers we helped him find explaining why he and everyone else should have proper personal protection equipment. I had some old N95 for carpentry work and I offered to let him wear those. They are not medical masks but better than nothing. He was told that was not allowed.
I am angry. I am so angry I want to lash out at someone, anyone, for this towering, over powering, incompetent stupidity. All I hear are excuses
“No one could have foreseen this.”
Absolute garbage and total nonsense. This is SARS2 not SARS1. Experts in public health (including me when I was doing it) have repeatedly warned everyone of the danger of a pandemic and how we need to be prepared.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we have.”
Again, absolute garbage and total nonsense. We once had huge stockpiles of N95 masks and other PPE in Canada because of SARS2. Someone decided to let these stockpiles expire and not renew them. And they didn’t bother asking anyone like me if that was a good idea because, believe me, I personally would have protested. I thought, like most Canadians concerned about such things, that we had learned our lesson from SARS1 and Canada was ready. The government told us that. The press parroted the government’s answers. Well it turns out we have no stockpile of PPE. Nor is anyone in Canada even making the N95 masks that are so critical to winning this battle. Our government has put millions, perhaps trillions into fighting the unproven probability of climate change that might happen in fifty years. Yet that same government has failed completely to prepare for a pandemic we all knew would happen because it has already happened before. Public health is somehow not shiny and bright and worthy of funding like climate change is. We now reap the consequences of what we sow. Those windmills can twirl over the graves of our COVID19 dead.
I am angry. I am angry at the incompetence of government and the individuals who put climate change before public health. I hope, I sincerely and absolutely and utterly hope that Canadians will wake up now and vote out the short sighted morons who put us in this position while they lied to us about our pandemic preparedness.
We get the government we deserve. So, Canada, we deserve this plague and we deserve every last death, every last lost dollar, every last illness and every last inconvenience that we are now dealing with because we elected the leadership we have. It’s time we, as a nation, gives ourselves a good swift kick in the hind end. We deserve this. Then we need to get back to work fighting this war. We cannot depend on our government to help us nor to take care of us. We are all, each and every one of us, on our own. We must take care of ourselves and each other by ourselves and expect nothing from our useless government (except more taxes for preventing climate change of course.) And we Canadians will beat this thing eventually. And when we have beaten COVID19, buried our dead, cried our tears, reopened the schools and gotten on with our lives, let’s never forget the bitter lesson in our own stupidity and short sightedness that we have all just been handed.
After the great flood of Winnipeg in 1950 a lone politician named Duff Roblin paddled his canoe around the flooded city and swore he would make sure this never happened to Winnipeg again. He set about creating and building a program of flood control his detractors disparagingly called “Duff’s Ditch”. In 1997 a far worse flood happened but Winnipeg was ready because of the foresight of this one politician pushing everyone else to be prepared and all those who understood and supported his vision.
I sure hope there is another Duff Roblin out there looking at the carnage of COVID19 and deciding he (or she or gender non binary) will make sure this never ever happens to us again. And when such a person shows up, we Canadians better vote for with that person. SARS3 is coming. Not if, when. Next time, we Canadians should make sure we actually are ready for it.