A message from Dr. David Forrest on Covid-19

Dr. David Forrest is an infectious disease specialist at NRGH and in the mid-island.

He has a history of being a strong patient and medical advocate for care and process, and has a strong powerful message to share. I strongly support our medical professionals in the best of times, but we have to come together as citizens to make sure as few people as possible get this virus. And Dr. Forrest explains in no uncertain terms why.

This is the clear, simple and powerful message every British Columbian needs to hear.

* source: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156542363696895&id=714446894

Please share.

 

Full appreciation for this messaging. Because as I said yesterday, you don’t get to put others at risk https://lailayuile.com/2020/03/22/you-do-not-get-to-put-others-at-risk/

You do not get to put others at risk

I have a lot of friends in law enforcement and health sciences who can’t speak out right now. Some have, despite risk to employment. Yesterday a group of doctors warned BC officials we are going to be just like Italy if they do not enforce stricter measures. https://vancouversun.com/news/covid-19-doctors-urge-b-c-government-to-take-more-drastic-measures/

I have not been silent over my ongoing concerns and it’s more urgent than ever people understand why.

The photo above is from a friend who is a paramedic who like most others, has had to plan for alternative arrangements in the very likely event he may be unable to see his family for a period of time during this pandemic, including his little son who was recently given an all clear from cancer. His wife and kids need him, and he is at risk for impacts of Covid, but he does not have a choice. Nor do our nurses, doctors or any other essential service worker right now.

Hes risking his own health, for others.

I’m beyond livid at the complete and utter thoughtlessness being displayed all over social media by people posting group pics on Quarry Rock in North Van which is now closed, on beaches and yes, getting together with other couples and families in their back yards.

This is all, a hard NO. Full stop.

You don’t get to put me or my family, and other people in danger simply because you don’t think it’s that serious. We are in a state of emergency. Hospital wards are starting to fill. People have died.

There has been a great disservice in the mixed messages being given out by officials contributing to this blatant lack of regard. The language isnt clear. So let me be clear.

Stay the fuck home.

Officials stated this is the time to remain only with your family group. Lay low.

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There is far more information and clarification for citizens in the questions that follow these daily updates than in the actual official releases. But that information is being lost.

It is ok to go for a short walk, but you can’t go for walks with a group of friends. You should limit it to 1 or 2 family members  if that.

You can not hang out in your backyard with all your friends over. You can’t have other couples, or teens or neighbours over.

You can not meet in a parking lot and then go walking together. Your cars are a foot apart. Did someone sneeze on your door handle? Cough on that park bench?

You can not go for bike rides with others in a group 2 feet apart from each other. You are exerting your lungs and inhaling each others breathe.

You shouldnt be parking right beside each other.

This virus lives on surfaces for varying degrees of time and it remains in the air after someone coughs or sneezes for an amount of time.

If you must go out for groceries, keep it to once a week, one family member only.

You must assume everything is contaminated and act accordingly. The gas pump for example. You pump your gas then touch your vehicle handle. You drive off. Boom your personal space is now an issue . Use hand sanitizer before you get back into your vehicle.

Those of you stupidly gathering in groups will regret it when you get sick or make someone else sick. They talk about deaths, but not enough is being talked about how horrific many survivors feel who have been severely sick but live. Lungs like glass. Feeling like you are slowly suffocating. This is a painful illness if you develop it severely. Some have long term lung damage from fibrosis.

And this is not just affecting seniors. This chart from the BC govt on Saturday, shows the ages.

Use your damn judgement and recognize that *you do not have the right to put your family and others at risk.*

#staythefuckhome

And to all the officials out there dancing around the subject? Please stop giving mixed messages.

When you tell people to ‘stay home’, but then also say ‘gatherings up to 50 are ok so long as you practice social distancing’, you are giving a mixed message.

When you fail to close worksites where men and women work in close quarters or work camps who have men and women who have been travelling back and forth in BC and elsewhere, it gives the impression to a large number of the public this isn’t as serious as it actually is.

This is appalling. It is confusing to many who don’t understand why it’s ok to expose construction workers but not our families and friends. It doesn’t even make sense to keep mentioning the economy in the same breathe you are asking people to stay home!!

The federal health minister said she was briefed in January on this, and yet here we are in March *hoping* people will take the warnings seriously.

And they are not.

We do not have endless beds in our hospitals to manage numerous sick Covid patients and all the rest of the people who are sick, or hurt or injured. This is a fact, and why doctors and nurses are pleading with the public and officials to act now. We owe them all much better than what is bring presented by officials in their communications.

Well, I’m tired of officials ‘hoping’ people will do the right thing, and then expressing their disappointment when they continue to ignore it.

We need stronger actions and we cannot wait.

We need clear concise orders, not ambiguous statements. Even today, people are picnicking and letting their kids play on surfaces no one cleans.

Every day officials fail to enforce this, is another day the virus spreads further and faster, because it’s an invisible opponent and we dont know where it is.

Cases announced today, are from test results days ago if not longer. Todays true numbers are much higher.

You must assume anyone and everyone might have it, because many people dont show symptoms at all and other may look like they have allergies. You may not get severely ill…but your mom or dad or sibling might.

I don’t want to believe anyone would intentionally be so thoughtless. But some of what I have seen online is inexplicable.

To all of you with the power to do something who are not doing it, or choosing to ignore it, you don’t get to endanger my family or friends, nor do you get to disregard the growing pleas of our doctors, our nurses, our officers and paramedics.

Do. Your. Jobs.

We will support you to keep us all safe, because in this battle the only way we can fight it, and fight it successfully is if we all do it at the same time ❣

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Covid-19:dont let hindsight be the most astute advisor. Measures we need to keep our communities safe and operational.

QThe photo above is taken from the Washington Post today.

It shows the obituaries section of a community paper in the northern province of Bergamo in Italy, where obituaries normally take up 2 or 3 pages. In recent days, there have been 10 or 11 pages. The measures we have and are taking in BC and elsewhere are so things like that, don’t happen here.

Like all of you, I have been watching things develop since day 1. But the mention of this dental conference in yesterdays press conference caught my eye for several reasons.https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/pacific-dental-conference-attendees-exposed-covid19-1.5499437

At that point officials knew the virus was here due to international travellers.
The dental conference in Vancouver took place the weekend of March 6th and has resulted in several cases across Canada from a single, 2 hour visit of an infected person.
Also on March 6th, BC unveiled their plan for pandemic preparation. At that time officials said it was low risk and did not see the need to cancel the Rugby Canada Sevens. In the presser after, Horgan said people should still go and enjoy events as long as they did not feel sick or showed any signs of illness, but be cautious, and wash their hands.
3 days later, March 9th, I posted a study sent by a friend who is in medical research that was beginning to make news in Germany ,which stated the virus was most virulent under their observations, in the 5 days before symptoms when people are still going around doing their business. This is the actual study. While very small, the implications are significant. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20030502v1
The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 10th and stated they were “deeply concerned by alarming levels of inaction” taken by governments around the world, and stressed the need to take immediate and aggressive measures.
On March 12th, considering what was developing in Washington state and the rest of the US, and still not seeing the more aggressive actions urged by the WHO happening in Canada,  I wrote another post referring to a similarly frustrated German residents post, urging people to #flattenthecurve and #staythefuckhome. 
Yesterday we had two major press conferences, one from Trudeau and one from BC officials. We are now seeing the curve we are trying to flatten, beginning to spike, and Trudeau announced a travel ban and border closure that doesn’t protect us to the biggest threat of new cases, entering from non commercial traffic from the US.
Thankfully Adrian Dix immediately negated this and said it was wrong, asking Americans not to come to BC. ( Brava Adrian, your quiet strength is both reassuring and admirable ) Thankfully, looking at border cameras this morning in BC, it appears people are listening in the US, as there is little traffic at BC border crossings.
Based on science and evidence presented  that this does transmit before symptoms appear, and by the actions taken by other jurisdictions that are keeping their cases under control, like Singapore, we as individuals must continue to make the choices we need to make, to stop or slow the spread of this virus by our own actions.
I am apt to say we may have missed the biggest chance to flatten the curve, which makes it very important that everyone needs to work hard right now to slow this down.
Practice social distancing and *do not go out if you are feeling at all sick.*
Most people who get this aren’t showing symptoms or are having very minor symptoms like Trudeaus wife, and children are still largely un-affected.
But we do need to stop the spread to protect our elders and all those who are vulnerable. Many people are doing an excellent job of social distancing already.
But taking these important actions is already having a massive impact on everyone financially and with stress.
This is a list of measures I hope to see from the federal and provincial governments asap.
I, like many are seeing the impacts these measures are having on families and friends. I  have two relatives laid off right now because of Covid-19, and many friends. All are worried about making rent or mortgage payments.
Government has to find a way to keep things afloat because the cost of living has been so unaffordable for so long, no one has any savings.
What Government can do
1) Top up the Child Tax Benefit cheques going out Friday significantly for the next 3 months minimum. Those who qualify to get them, have low to moderate incomes and rely on them most for rent, mortgage and food. Hoarding is an issue in every community including my own and getting enough groceries for a 2 week self isolation or longer, is not an option. People will starve.
2) Top up disability and social assistance payments for the next 3 months minimum. Again, many are limited to where they can buy food because of no vehicles or disability. They can’t stock up for a 2 week self isolation because they are already living in poverty. People will starve.
2) Ensure that not only is the one week waiting period waived for EI benefits waived, the processing time is too. Just approve the damn claims and pay out.
3)  Work with banks and credit unions to legislate a no penalty halt to rent and mortgage payments for 2 months at this point for everyone on EI.
4) Provide a  free call in line or registry of mental health professionals like counsellors, psychiatrists etc for people to call throughout this challenging time. I urge all mental health professionals who are able to, to volunteer services in their communities where they can, to help people who are experiencing extreme stress and anxiety right now. I see a need among my own friends, many of whom don’t want to add more stress to their own spouses, and others who really have no one to talk to. ( I wont get into how this should already be a BC medical covered service….)
What corporate Canada can do.
1) Grocery stores are starting to offer early openings and specific times for seniors and those with disabilities to shop. Well done. Now ensure that every single staple product has a limit that would allow a person to have some extra, but not enough to allow hoarding.
2) Utility, cable and telephone providers would be prudent to defer payments with no penalty or interest charged. Reduce pricing.
3) Every corporation should be immediately cutting cheques to food banks in their communities, many of which are now on a 1 day supply or less, and places like Kraft Canada, Presidents Choice, Quaker, etc etc need to be sending pallets of staples to local food banks. 
 Here in the Comox Valley I was just advised they have about a day left, because no one is leaving donations at the grocery store donation bins, and the stores dont have enough stock of staples to keep things going. Its appalling how people have acted in hoarding food.
What those who are wealthy can do. 
Donate, donate, donate. To food banks. To social service organizations who help feed the homeless, to groups that serve seniors, to breakfast clubs.
So many people are clueless as to how many people rely on school breakfast programs.And many also arent aware that teachers and counsellors usually keep extra food on hand for kids who need it.
Its a hardship on spring breaks and holidays at the best of times for parents to make up the difference and now its even worse because, again, hoarders who are prepping like grocery production has come to an end. I can guarantee you that right now, somewhere close to you, there are hungry little bellies and a stressed out parent crying into  his or her hands in the bathroom trying to figure out what to do when the food bank runs low.
Other actions to consider 
For those who are able to, support your local farmers right now.  Support your local small businesses who are the heart of every community. Buy a gift card or gift certificate. Call to arrange a time to shop. Every dollar in their pocket counts right now as we navigate through these closures.
Ok, if I forgot anything please add to the comments below.  I will post again later on, with a lighter note to distract and maybe a story or two. Get outside if you can, and enjoy the sun, just not in a crowd. We got this.
*** update.
Came home from a nature walk to see this. Public Health Emergency declared.
#staythefuckhome #flattenthecurve

Breaking news: Joy is not cancelled.

Screenshot_20200313-231044_GalleryIt was a spectacular day today.

Blue sky, snow capped peaks, the kind of day that makes you smile after a long winter. And a friend messaged me after posting my pics and asked: ” How can we be happy right now ?”

” It’s simple.” I said. ” Joy was not made to be a crumb” and sent her one of my favourite Mary Oliver poems. I shared it with other friends online and thought perhaps some of you might find wisdom and even ‘permission’ to still find joy amid this uncertainty….

It’s still ok to be happy. It doesn’t make you less concerned or a bad person. We can’t change what’s already happened. We can only do our part to help here, right now by flattening the curve. And this is where the wisdom of Mary Oliver fits right in…

 

” If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate.

Give in to it.

There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind.

And much can never be redeemed.

Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world.

It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins.

Anyway, that’s often the case.

Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.

Joy is not made to be a crumb. (Don’t Hesitate)

~ Mary Oliver

 

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