…so why won’t Dr. Bonnie Henry mandate proactive, frequent, blanket testing of all long term care home staff to prevent outbreaks before they happen? We still don’t know, but we do know many,many more people are going to die needlessly if this order doesn’t happen.
From Abbotsford News:
On November 5th I wrote the post below, a plea to the province to both mandate proactive, frequent testing of LTC staff, and to release more information surrounding Covid data. Please go read this link below, then come back to finish here : https://lailayuile.com/2020/11/05/a-matter-of-conscience-why-we-need-to-act-on-long-term-care-right-now-and-why-transparency-with-covid-data-is-more-critical-than-ever/
That post, along with the repeated plea’s of families, advocates like Ron Hughes and staff alike, went ignored. There is no proactive, mandatory frequent testing of all staff, until AFTER an outbreak begins.
Since then, the province has continued to see a rapid increase in cases, and its clear that a vast number of people have tuned Dr.Henry out completely with respect to her suggestions and limited orders.
With today’s story posted above from Abbotsford, we know why the province stopped giving a breakdown of long term care home number’s. They are horrific, and proactive, mandatory frequent testing of staff would have caught this. Perhaps not all, but most. Shameful.
Today we have:
11 more deaths in BC.
Yesterday 9 deaths reported. Total in November 47 fatalities.
717 new cases – a record. 10,960 in isolation. 6,589 active. 198 in hospital. 63 in ICU.
New outbreak at Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens – LTC on Island
What is being done, isn’t working.
The Covid Measures Act passed by the province exempts nearly everyone and every business including government from liability for anything that happens as a result of decisions made or undertaken during this pandemic. But I would argue it does not exempt government or Dr.Henry from the responsibility to adhere to the precautionary principle, as dictated in the SARS Commission that I warned people was not being followed back in March of this year:
From the SARS Commission summary:
In The Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada, Mr. Justice Krever said:
‘Where there is reasonable evidence of an impending threat to public
health, it is inappropriate to require proof of causation beyond a reasonable doubt before taking steps to avert the threat.’
The importance of the precautionary principle that reasonable efforts to reduce risk
need not await scientific proof was demonstrated over and over during SARS. The
need to apply it better is noted throughout this report.
One example was the debate during SARS over whether SARS was transmitted by
large droplets or through airborne particles. The point is not who was right and who
was wrong in this debate. When it comes to worker safety in hospitals, we should not
be driven by the scientific dogma of yesterday or even the scientific dogma of today.
We should be driven by the precautionary principle that reasonable steps to reduce
risk should not await scientific certainty”
“1. Medical Independence and Leadership
Public confidence requires that the fight against infectious disease be driven by
medical expertise, free from bureaucratic or political pressure.“
Do we have political or bureaucratic influence here in BC?
It is a shame Dr. Henry waited until AFTER the election to first act, instead of weeks earlier when data showed things were escalating. In the inevitable inquiry to come down the road, many will shake their heads at Horgans choice to put power before people and call an election, instead of ensuring we had adequate contact tracers hired, and that long term care homes were addressed more adequately than they are.
We would have been in a far better position next year, rather than leave citizens without mlas to call or email, or sworn in cabinet ministers for a month now.
( this deserves a post of its own, but I will quickly add that the failure to apply the Precautionary principle to schools in metro Vancouver is also stark. Schools may be not a driver of pandemic on their own, but when community spread is high of course transmission will occur within schools and then it will become a driver as it did in Quebec. Whats happening now in Fraser Healh and Metro Van, isn’t good for anyone’s mental health when kids worry over teachers, parents worry about kids and teachers are worried about their lives. )
Dr. Henry said once in a presser that proactive testing is not the best use of resources, which is odd because I would say sending response teams over and over might not be a best use of resources when you only have so many,and we have winter ahead.
Proactive, mandatory testing of all LTC staff works. It will help prevent outbreaks, give peace of mind to staff who bear the burden of worry and give families a chance to get to a point where they can see their loved ones.
Dr. Henry and Adrian Dix remind us daily we need to protect our elders and most vulnerable…so why isn’t government doing what’s in their power, to do so?
Mandate and cover costs of proactive, frequent testing of all staff in long term care, now.
39 thoughts on “” Many staff who tested positive for the virus were in shock as they experienced no symptoms” ~42 staff. 59 residents. In one care home…”
I was more than shocked when I heard this on the news, in fact it was jaw dropping. Something is not working.
I got into deep trouble on another blog, when I posted my opinion of the spike,in Covid-19 in the Fraser Valley, but with the numbers today, the only thing I can say is gross negligence on the part of government and pandering to various electorally important communities.
Mind you, this spike in Covid 19 has come just after the incubation time after the last provincial election. Yes the NDP, during the election, dropped the ball and dropped it badly and it is my opinion that Horgan and the NDP must take partial responsibility for the big uptake in deaths from Covid.
There is blood on their hands.
Bonnie Henry can only do so much, but the the Horgan government seems to be sleepwalking into a fiasco. I see and hear more ads for the NDP’s Community Partnership Programs and new bridges and transit, than for Covid. Union jobs seem more important than Covid in this province.
I now know of 3 people who have passed from Covid 19 and a good friends older brother is fighting for his life at Abbotsford.
Sorry, Horgan and the NDP must wear this and the real cost of their recent electoral victory is the mounting daily death count in the province,
Memo to Premier Horgan: “Was it worth it?”
You aren’t wrong.
It has long been a topic of discussion and part of strategy for all parties on how to get Surrey votes.We know how it works and its bizarre how supporters are now claiming that isn’t so. It may have been technically safe to vote, it certainly wasn’t safe to wait to act until AFTER the election. If someone has an issue with you saying so, they clearly haven’t lived in and been involved in Surrey politics.
And I’m sorry for your losses…I’ll hold your friends brother..and him,in my thoughts,for a recovery.
I suspect many will come to know loss this winter, between the opioid crisis, and this. I hope we are all here come spring, along with our loved ones. 🙏
Am of the opinion the public are responsible for the increase in COVID 19 because they aren’t adhering to the protocols. doesn’t matter what Dr. Henry or the politicians say or do, people have to take responsibility for themselves. People still aren’t wearing masks when the should. They still walk in the wrong direction even though stores and malls have gone to the effort to have them go “one way”. People still go out shopping if they don’t need to. People still have parties, go to bars, gyms, etc.
by mid Feb. we were starting to use protocols based on what I had read about COVID in China and remembered about Ebola.. The house got stocked, figured out how to tank up the vehicles without touching anything with my hands, started wearing masks outside, no one came in except care aids and we insisted they wear masks and gloves and sprayed their shoes. Gave up shopping as a hobby. Ceased going to crowded places, etc.
its easy to follow the rules. people need to take responsibility for themselves. As to those who are in care homes, the executives of these places ought to be arrested for negligent homicide. they were professionals and they didn’t need a government official to tell them what to do. they learnt that at school. Most of them would have read about the Ebola crisis in African and what had to be done there to stay safe. if they couldn’t figure that out, they ought not to be in their jobs.
You are sure right about the irresponsibility of some individuals and the lack of common sense, The level of selfishness and immaturity of some is astounding. The old saying always applies. The few ruin it for the many.
Just to give an added touch to the stupidity of our dear leaders when it comes to schools, Dix stated that there is no transmission in schools a couple weeks ago, regarding children, and then too top it all off, then comes a next level of stupidy. Just a few days ago Horgan blabbed off with his stupid mouth and said kids are not transmitters.
They are treating the our seniors and schools and kids, staff, parents, people families and their loved ones in care with such negligence. It is actually a whole new level of negligence, because it literally comes down to life hanging in the balance. They are no different than the bad people that ran this province before.
Yes they do have blood on their hands, and more so because they did, take the eye off the ball by running an election during a major crisis and caused more devastation. They turned a Willfull Blind for their own disgusting greedy ambitions for power, It will not be forgotten.
testing costs money and there is a limited supply of it. If taxes have to be raised due to additional testing my expectation is the taxpayers will scream to high heaven, because although there have been as you point out new cases of COVID and deaths, it doesn’t impact most people. If its not happening to them or their families, they don’t care. The government understands that.
I don’t know if these care homes have unionized staff with collective agreements which give them the right to have safe work places, but if they don’t there isn’t much the staff can do except quit and they won’t. One, they want to care for their patients and two, they can’t afford to be unemployed. The staff is working in unsafe working conditions, if they aren’t unionized, they might want to consider doing so. they might be able to get collective agreements which provide them with health and safety rules and contract language. You also have to wonder where WorkSafe B.C. is in all of this. Wonder if any of the care workers have filed WCB claims. it does pay more the E,I. medical benefits. If the workers can demonstrate they caught COVID at work, and file WCB it would be to their advantage because they may become long haulers. and not be able to work for years. Now that may catch the attention of the government.
I would be interested in knowing what the racial make up is of the care staff because if the majority are people of colour it may simply be racism. The majority of staff at care homes are women and even in 2020 women still don’t get the respect on the job they deserve or the same respect as men. Care aids are a female dominated profession.
today I was informed a person we came into contact with, lives with some one who works with some one who has developed COvid. iT doesn’t take much. Given we all wear masks, we ought to be o.k. WE are however waiting to see if the person we came into contact with has had COVID transferred to them by the person they live with. The person we came into contact with has been extremely careful and we have followed all protocols since mid Feb and don’t go out much–
This disease can bite you in the butt no matter how careful you are. The new rule will have to be no outside assistance. For those in care homes, they need to ensure the staff dealing with them is covid free and that requires testing. Right now I would not put my worst enemy in a care home.
The province stepped in this spring and brought in the ( not really a single site) rule, and brought all workers in under a single wage top up, so non unionized and unionized are making the same wages
I disagree that people don’t care. They do and many are outraged. With no mlas sworn in and working since the election was called, who exactly does one speak to? Mla offices and govt offices have been non operational since this began and everything has been redirected to the BC govt info line ffs.
They need to do this. Its unconscionable to allow this to continue while staff and residents are like sitting ducks.
I agree, if you can at all get your fame member out and find a way to care for them at home, do so now. A storm is coming with respect to staffing and they are not ready for it.
Also, they need more contact tracers and are taking health care staff off other jobs to do it.
Hire the many researchers out there like myself who can track down and find people, places etc quickly. We can be taught the health aspect. It’s easier to do this,and frees up health workers who need to be doing other things
“…testing costs money….” And we seem to have lots of it for Site C and similar boondoggles. I reckon you could get 3 – 4 health workers for the price of a dozer operator, not including the dozer!
Time to get our priorities straight.
Oh, i forgot to say SHUT DOWN SITE C!
Not only could they save money by closing down Site C.. they could use the camp for the homeless and use parks for what they were built for.
They could simply pay the workers their wages for the next year or two and we’d still save money.
If there is a limited supply of money, why do we have Site C? I just don’t think this austerity argument works. Do taxpayers yell and scream over the wasted billions being spent on a totally pointless and trouble Site C dam, now well over quadruple its original cost and with the amount remaining to go on it more than the cost of greener and readily available alternatives? We could be spending that money on Covid and covid recovery. Agree with the rest of your comment. The abandonment of care homes by this gov’t is a travesty. The election was cynical but the NDP’s poor policy predates that call. it’s amazing that British Columbians were somehow pleased with their handling of this mess.
And according to John Horgan today, when asked about proactive testing in long term care ( thank you to whoever asked that question 🙏) he is very confident in the provinces testing.
Oh and apparently kids do not transmit covid. Its only adults in schools.
Literally so much bullshit spewed today I felt like a shower after his press conference this morning and clearly the majority agreed.
Folks, we can’t count on government here. They are doing too little, too late provincially.
although we may think the money comes out of one pot and it actually does, the government, regardless of the party, don’t see it as one pot. Site C is B. C. Hydro. Now we know that if anything goes wrong at BC. Hydro we are all on the hook, however, the government accountants have it as two separate things. Its why good old el gordo borrowed almost a billion when they borrowed for the German ferries, put the almost billion well 3/4 of a billion in general revenue, charged the loan to B.C. ferries and declared a balanced budget and every one was happy. Oh, and at 10% interest.
I understand site C provides jobs, but we could send all the workers home and give them two years salary and still come out ahead. the workers would put the money into their communities or pay off their mortages and every one could be happy especially that family who lost their land to the dam dam.
Laila and Norm Farrell have been writing about that dam for so long, I think we may all go 2nd and 3rd retirements and still be writing and commenting about that dam dam. The amount of money that dam costs would build a lot of hospitals and educate a lot of medical staff.
On my tombstone it will read
” That damn dam ”
Good article Laila.
I must admit I missed the memo on this one, here’s a quote by Dr. henry in the Times Colonist.
“Some people are asking when we will see masks mandated in B.C. The answer is that they already are. The mandate to use masks appropriately is a cornerstone of businesses’ and organizations’ COVID-19 safety plans and is embedded in our health-care facilities’ operational policies and restart protocols in other public institutions.” (snip)
Like I said I never heard anything about masks being mandatory until I read her op-ed. If Dr. Henry and /or NDP keep saying nice words and have ‘suggestions’ then people won’t take it seriously until they do.
This virus, as we all know, is extremely contagious and aggressive and can be quite deadly or have long-lasting side effects (long haulers) that may end up being permanent. Since the virus is so aggressive then, in my opinion, we should deal with it aggressively. I find both federal and provincial governments lacking in any kind of pro-active manner it always seems to be reactive or throw money around. Vancouver Island should be at least like PEI or any other maritime province and if our government doesn’t know what to do maybe give them a call and see what they did.
Nice op-ed, but its actually word salad and not true. There is no provincial order mandating mask use, and worksafe confirmed this on their Twitter account last night. A mask can be part of what a business requires but it is not an order.
She said she won’t mandate masks because then minorities and poor become targeted. Solution is to provide them. But right now staff are forced into potentially dangerous and abusive confrontations.
This is the issue many businesses have, especially smaller ones who cannot afford security on hand to deal with antimaskers.
(sorry, that last comment was in response to e.a.f.)
Quote: “Oh and apparently kids do not transmit covid. Its only adults in schools.
Literally so much bullshit spewed today I felt like a shower after his press conference this morning and clearly the majority agreed. ”
I received this in an email today. Now we have a Chinese home-stay student now in grade 12. He stayed with us all summer and all summer we received a barrage of E-mails regurgitating the the does and don’t of Covid.
Not once did the Homestay bureaucracy phone, nor did they come and inspect the house or even chat with the student to ensure all is well.
Now the student has been with us 2 years and we felt that staying with us was the best option. But really, the lack of any real help from the school board is more than nauseating.
I am 65 and with some health issues I am a little concerned.
One would think that Homestay parents should get more information than two form letters.
Where is the province with this? Where is the Ministry of Education on this?
Again Horgan and the NDP have failed.
What I would like to know is:
1) What grade the student was in?
2) Did the student have classes with the Homestay student?
3) What action should be taken if i contract Covid-19 via the school?
Bureaucratic BS seems to be the order of the day.
November 18, 2020
RE: COVID-19 NOTIFICATION
The intent of this letter is to provide early notification of an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 at your child’s school and to advise you on next steps being taken by public health. Public health is following up on this exposure according to school-based guidelines similar to those in other workplaces and community settings.
Receiving this letter does not mean you have been exposed to COVID-19. Case(s) have been isolated, and there is no direct exposure risk at this time.
An individual with COVID-19 was at your child’s school South Delta Secondary School, (750 53 St.,
Delta, BC) on: November 06. 2020
As a result, Public Health:
has initiated contact tracing to rapidly identify any staff and students that need to self-isolate or
self-monitor for symptoms.
will continue to investigate the exposure at the school
will only phone staff and students that public health has identified as needing to self-isolate for
14 days from when they were exposed.
may send letters to staff and students who will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms. These
staff/students may continue to attend school while monitoring for symptoms.
It is important to note that receipt of this letter does not mean you will be contacted by public health. You will not be contacted by public health unless you were directly exposed to COVID-19.
Please have your child continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms compatible to COVID-19 as per your school policies.
For privacy reasons, we cannot give out any specific details on the COVID-19 exposure other than the information provided above.
Please continue to attend school.
November 18, 2020
RE: Early Notification, School Community Member Tested Positive for COVID-19
Dear SDSS Families,
A member of the South Delta Secondary school community has tested positive for COVID-19, and
attended school on November 6th. They are now self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams.
We are supporting the Fraser Health Authority as they undertake contact tracing to determine if any
other members of our school community were in contact with the person who tested positive for
COVID-19, and if any additional steps are required. We are following the protocol established for these circumstances:
• The health authority is performing contact tracing;
• The health authority will determine if anyone in the school community was in contact with the
person who tested positive for COVID-19 while they were potentially infectious;
• The health authority will determine if anyone in the school community is a close contact that is
required to self-isolate.
Only the health authority can determine who is a close contact.
If you are contacted by Fraser Health Authority, please follow their advice. If you are not contacted by Fraser Health Authority, it has been determined that your child is not at risk of developing COVID-19.
To ensure personal privacy rights are maintained, we will not be providing additional details.
The safety and well-being of our students, families and staff remains our highest priority. Please be
reassured that our school will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in
place so that children can continue to attend school as safely as possible. This includes determining if additional cleaning and disinfection of school spaces is required – over and above the established increase in custodial duties. Students should continue to come to school while contact tracing is underway. As a reminder, please continue daily health checks to monitor your child for illness.
We will continue to work closely with Fraser Health Authority to provide ongoing communication as
If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call 811.
It is broken and it doesn’t work, and they know it…yet they’ve decided faking it is a better strategy then being honest and painfully truthful.
Know that there are many trying to get the truth for you. Salim Jiwa. Ron Hughes,Lizanne Foster and more. The senior members of the Legislative press gallery are late to the table. Its the junior members and indie media like Bob Mackin you want to follow.
I’m doing my best,which isn’t enough with immediate family being my first priority, alomg with my own health..
Ensure you are taking proper levels of vitamin D, essential for immune function and a top test for seniors here in Comox, vit C, and zinc. Many if not most Canadians are deficient. I will send you my email for direct contact
Cbc interviews Dr.Fauci who says Canada getting into big trouble….
” Fauci says the virus is primarily spreading at the “household level” among smaller groups of people who may not even know they’re infected — something to be vigilant about as the holidays and colder months approach.
“We’ve got to be able to test widely in the community for asymptomatic spreaders of the infection,” he said by phone from Washington, D.C.
“If you just test people who are symptomatic, you’re going to miss a very large contingent of the spread of infection in the community.”
Dr.Bonnie doesn’t believe in testing asymptomatic people.
They continue to refuse to mandate frequent testing of all staff in care homes..yesterdsy Horgan said he was confident in BCs testing 🙄
He parroted the vaccine line so many times which is ridiculous.
We are in this situation, unprepared, because he chose to have an election and Bonnie Henry chose not to do a damn thing until after it was done,at which point it was too late to rein it in. And even now,she chuckles in interviews when asked serious questions.
Horgan gave people social license to be freer during the election and did his boosters, saying its safe,holding campaign gatherings etc. It was repeated often how safe it was. Do you think that helped bring everyone’s guard down at a time when people should have been pulling back?
Yes, without a doubt.
You cant repeat those lines while gallivanting around the provonce and then the day after tell people suddenly its not safe again and expect people to take you seriously.
Evil Eye, that is a riot. Kids don’t transmit COVID. Kids are walking germ factories. They’re lovable, future tax payers of Canada, cute as hell, make your day, but hell, they sure spread germs. Even I a non parent know that. I’ve watched kids. I’ve gotten colds from kids. One loveable child I know, if they have a cold, I have it next week. So now some one would like me to believe cute and adorable child won’t infect me with COIVD should the child get that. ya not so much. doesn’t matter how high or drunk I get, not buying into that. Now it maybe that school is a good place for kids even in COVID times, if done right, and each parent will have to make their own choice, but to say it doesn’t spread through kids. right.
School maybe safer to teenagers though, because I do remember being one with the parental units in the job market. Ya, teenagers go to school. its safer but you can usually get them to wear a mask, at least in class.
Oh, come on!!!
WTAF this is NOT an answer. Let’s move on to someone who can actually help.
I’m in my late 70’s; Lived at the same north shore residential address for 45 years; I know my neighbours on either side – nothing beyond! 2 neighbours across the lane… one downhill, one uphill; and across the front street … two neighbours (all single family homes). No one has been effected by Covid-19. Therefore Covid-19 doesn’t exist?!!
I go out for a walk every day; Capilano Regional Park; keep my distance; SHY away from those that don’t move over far enough for my liking…… .
Which raises a question for me, maybe for others: Does Covid-19 exist? because I know of no one that has dropped out of sight from my four years of daily walks in the park; we ask about old so and so; our extended family. Zero.
Nor a word passed onto us from a neighbour’s neighbours’ neighbour as being fact.
Dr. Bonnie Henry / Health Minister Adrian Dix’s daily advice is for our own safety, and the message is to stay put. Don’t drive from the west side of Vancouver Coastal Health to the East side of Fraser Health and back home. Stay within the 3 generation family bubble. (and NO we haven’t left the North Shore).
There’s this feeling though, a sensation, that we are not being told the truth about Covid-19 and for some unknown reason, to me, I thought of Catch-22’s paradoxical situation.
“Catch-22 dilemma in response to complex emergencies “https://crisis-response.com/comment/blogpost.php?post=448” CBRN incidents (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear)
“””CBRN is a very complex issue and it is very difficult to explain to a layperson – using simple language – what has happened and how to act. So, the communication is therefore limited and coarse-grained; there are lacunas in information delivered to the public. And members of the public are often aware of this. This perceived vacuum of information, the feeling that something is being deliberately withheld by authorities, can create panic, anxiety and confusion among the public. At the same time, we understand that in a major CBRN-related incident, the victims themselves will be the first responders, and therefore they should have precise information on their circumstances and how to react.
In the case of a CBRN incident, information should not be too scientific or technical, as this can be complex, and therefore cause stress and panic for unprepared minds. Whenever directly involved in or affected by an incident, the public wants information about the measures that emergency responders are taking, how this helps, and how effective these measures are.
Preferences for risk communicators can vary. However, it is clear that directly affected members of the public want to receive information from individuals who are invested with formal authority and who capable of demonstrating leadership skills, balanced by compassion and respect for the concerns of the public.””””
Horgan and the NDP are in panic mode; they are not good poker players, that is for sure.
What should have been done two weeks ago is now done today, and i think i know why. South of the 49th, American deaths are topping 2,000 a day, 10,000 people have died of Covid-19 within a week. Covid is wildly out of control as the malignant narcissist and lame duck president is doing nothing as the death toll mounts.
As BC and the rest of Canada’s Covid numbers spike, the old political diarrhea, spewed daily has become a sad joke. Something is very badly broken.and our politicians seem have no interest fixing it. Information is fragmented and changes as the wind blows; common sense has been tossed in favour of political pablum.
We all know surgeons and nurses in operating theaters wear masks; why? To prevent the transmission of germs which may cause infection. A simple fact that has been somewhat ignored. Mask prevents the transmission of this nasty virus and prevents infected persons spreading disease. How this message has been so badly handled is nothing more than pure incompetence.
You wear masks in case you are infected and to prevent the spread of the disease. Wearing masks may not prevent you from getting sick as aerosol virus tend to enter through the eyes and why face shields and goggles are worn. It is like a little bit of doctor Frankenstein but has been standard knowledge since the turn of the last century!
Again, I ask, how has this simple message been so badly handled?
Then there is the big question, entitlement, where does it say in our constitution that we have to eat out or go on holidays or winter in sunnier climes?
Again I give this warning, 2021 will make 2020 a cakewalk and I just do not see politicians taking it seriously and this makes me more afraid than the damned disease itself!
Be well, be healthy, be vigilant and let us beat this damned thing.
I agree – 2020 is just a trial run for 2021.
Hopefully we can keep hospitals from overloading with the current new orders.
I’m still hoping they mandate testing of long term care staff. It doesn’t make sense not to when they have to send fast response teams out to each one.
Time will tell but several businesses closed doors permanently yesterday and Im sure more are to come.
The feds would be smart to roll all these various benefits into a UBI for winter. People won’t stay home when sick if they can’t afford it..and many csnt wait the 4 weeks it might take to verify sickness benefits.
Your “question” regarding the Constitution is bang on. People think they are entitled to have what they want. No one said no to many of them growing up and now they still won’t accept the word NO. Many people have never lived in an atmosphere where you can die from regular diseases. Modern medicine solves most problems. They can’t get their heads wrapped around that some thing like COVID can kill. Some aging baby boomers remember polio and it killed. there are those of us who remember the start of AIDS and it killed and we lost people we knew. There was a time when small box, scarlet fever killed. most people alive to day either have forgotten or never lived in those times.
People today think Pearson Hospital is for the disabled. I remember when it was used for T.B. and then polio. When I started Grade one, one of my class mate’s father had died from polio and their mother confined to a wheel chair. I never forgot that. When we get diseases, I paid attention.
Frustrations abound under Covid restrictions. I’m reminded of the little sign I saw posted at a logging camp one time: “The Six Phases of a Project:
4. Search For the Guilty
5. Persecution of the Innocent
6. Praise of the Nonparticipants.”
Perhaps a bit flippant, but nevertheless pretending something about how people behave, by definition the politicians’ purview: the policy might be generally approved, the priority list perhaps a little less so, but the devil’s in the details of each phase and exceptions taken to any one risks turning general acquiesce into partisan contention which, as we see in, say, the USA or Albetar, erodes the public’s cooperation epidemiologically necessary. In other words: there are epidemiological aspects and there are political aspects about Covid.
My family’s fairly saturated with teachers and principals, working and retired, students, parents, and grandparents (I have six grandchildren, three in university—two online-only—two in elementary school, and one toddler daughter of a working Catholic school principal whose retired parents provide daycare; of this group, two are Covid-high-risk due to age, and four due to both age and health predispositions; none of us lives in or visits anyone in a longterm care home, although one couple has experienced accommodation in, or visiting, a live-in cancer treatment facility since Covid, and one—me—hospitalized for a day procedure). We discuss Covid every day and many insights are gleaned since schooling is one of those difficult aspects of Covid response.
One of our most controversial (always respectful) is the politics involved in selling the basic, universal Covid policy, particularly with respect where anyone or everyone might be along the chain of eventualities—or the ‘curve’, as it’s come to be called. One thing we all agree on is the inevitability of epidemiological phases. For example, we all correctly predicted a rise in infections—now being, perhaps, the infamous “second wave” or perhaps just an extension of the first—following summer as schools reopened, thence the curve steepening because of Thanksgiving—as indeed it did— and reasonable confidence that Christmas will register a further steepening to commence the most difficult period of high infection rates and increasingly restrictive mandates through to next spring when weather allows us to be safer outdoors again—-and hopefully when a vaccine will be widely available. We had this mapped out within a week of WHO declaring the pandemic, back in March. Doubtless, public health authorities and the government did too.
Almost immediately, governments everywhere froze for a brief period when they needed to see if their respective strategic positions were affected: when it became clear that Covid was real and spreading internationally—effectively a checkered flag signallIng no car in the race would lose its poll position since all would soon be afflicted just the same (that is, no nation would be strategically compromised or advantaged), then each could focus on how to respond.
The basic policy was never in question—except for a couple of glaring outliers which became the worst hit in the world. The policy is universal: keep hospitals from getting swamped with Covid patients so that nonCovid patients don’t add to the death toll for lack of room, then mitigate with restrictive protocols until a solution is found. Nations began to diverge characteristically as to how they would sell this policy, the only real one, to their citizens. China, Covid’s likely origin, was, for example, so reluctant to muss with ancient, unofficially religious tradition of Lunar New Year, it allowed the biggest single migration of humans ever, hundreds of millions of citizens heading home to celebrate with family, officials knowing it would boost the outbreak—and, remind, this is a totalitarian police state—and still they were too scared of the populace to shut the celebrations down. Italy, famous for its citizens’ cavalier contempt for government, let the virus rage until so bad citizens were persuaded to comply with protocols —which were left until they had to be draconian. And so on, some countries temporizing due to a lack of medical supply, others due to some degree of confidence that their citizens would willingly comply.
I think it a tad unfair to criticize BC authorities too harshly. All along their forthrightness and measured responses have resulted in comparatively good results in a very difficult environment fraught with potential for popular revolt at every turn—and no epidemiological response can succeed without broad compliance. Indeed, successes achieved can be quickly wiped out and efforts reduced to square one. At every step it’s been apparent the PHA has carefully anticipated the curve and citizens’ responses to it, all with a mind to preclude retrogressive reaction.
The most difficult sales jobs—that is, politics—are the ones involving strong emotion, family being the obvious strongest. Therefore, the application of restrictions has had to be extremely careful—perhaps moreso than other hot buttons like schooling and employment. The pressure to compromise strict epidemiological measures has been intense, especially in end-of life situations. Moreover, the inadequacies of sanitary staffing has been shown an extremely difficult thing to fix in a hurry.
It’s easy to criticize—not necessarily wrong, potentially even salutary—but, IMHO, had PHA jumped the gun with redress of longterm care homes, it would have risked logistical problems and reaction which could have very well resulted in a higher casualty rate than we see now. Imagine how difficult it is to make these decisions. Dr Henry’s solace is that the course is as steady as we can hope for, and many stronger restrictions are held in reserve. She has responded quickly but politically judiciously to the expected autumn rise in Covid infections. Certainly she, of all people, appreciates that more reaction, appropriate or not, will happen the steeper the mountain to climb. Reading the official PHA’s latest bulletin, one notes how many small exceptions are still allowed among the larger restrictions—but also that these might be rescinded if needed.
There may be better responses on paper or in theory, but wholesale replacement of longterm care home staff who logistically cannot achieve perfect bubbles plainly has many aspects we should recognize as unavoidably political problems. We’re heading for the worst part, as predicted, but there’s no reason to think the PHA hasn’t got a grip on things. Might not be to everyone’s liking, but it has to be admitted the government has made longterm care a special area of attention.
I think we’ll see stronger restrictions soon, how people will react largely depends on how they’re sold. And, so far, I think Dr Henry and the government have done a better job than most.
So, what phase of this project we at now?
The phase where we ask ourselves honestly:
” Wbat would you be saying, if it the Libs had done exactly as Horgan and the PHO have since September.”
Would y’all be upset about time spent on an unneeded election instead of readying for this wave?
Would y’all be happy with Henry doing nothing as cases rose, until the day after the election?
What if it were Wilkinson as premier, stating kids do not transmit covid when science shows they do instead of Horgan?
Or not mandating masks? Or continuing to say things are fine with testing in care homes?
Or banning reporters in person for 9 months except for the election?
Because me, I treat them all the same and I have a hard time believing many would say things were fine if it were the Libs in power.
But thats just me. Doctors have been begging for actions for weeks. If people are not adhering to ‘requests’,and leaders do nothing, who is responsible the result then?
I think we know the answer.
Yes, absolutely correct, we should be asking ourselves a lot of very uncomfortable questions, especially if the NDP are your fasv’s.
Living in an earthquake zone we have been told over and over again to be prepared. We should be able not to rely on government for may days. Yet, it seems to me that the government were ill prepared to meet this pandemic and literally did nothing for more than a month.
I first read about covid in December and became alarmed in January, yet government did little or nothing. In February people were still flying everywhere and junkets to warmer climes in full swing, yet government grudgingly took action, only after cruise ship passengers were quarantined on board cruise ships.
“By the end of February, Canadian leaders continued to resist calls to shut down borders as some other countries had done. As federal health minister Patty Hajdu would point out March 11, Italy closed their borders to China well before it experienced one of the worst outbreaks outside of China.” (Canadian Healthcare n=Network)
As infections grew, provincial governments hesitated, but eventually acted. “Between March 12 (Quebec) and March 22 (Nova Scotia) every Canadian province and territory had declared a state of emergency.” (CHN)
“On March 27, B.C.’s top public health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said that provincial modelling had suggested social distancing had slowed the spread of the disease. According to their figures it had cut the number of new cases by as much as half of what they would be otherwise.” (CHN)
From April on lock downs and isolation and it seemed we had got the better of Covid and the NDP ignored the second wave to call an election in October. All the rules were tossed and it was 4 weeks of free-fall, no wonder Covid came back with a vengeance.
The election was not needed, the Liberals were weak and in disarray, yet political crassness and I believe a certain ignorance of disease and disease transmission, combined with political and personal arrogance by the NDP hierarchy compelled them for a fall election to try to do to the the Liberals as what the Liberals did to them in 2001!
Horgan’s NDP won, but at what cost? Another lost school year, as it seems the NDP are about to throw the 2021 grade 12 grads under the same bus as the 2020 lot. and an increased death rate, a fatal isolation of those in senior or care homes and the almost certain destruction of small business in BC. No vaccine is going to save us any time soon.
The NDP’s Pyrrhic victory, they won the election but lost the province.
Those staunch NDP types should reflect at what cost is victory.
A lot of ‘ifs’, there, Laila. Again, there are two parts to this pandemic, one strictly medical and epidemiological, the other political—how to get citizens to cooperate with protocols. There is no doubt—at any phase—that one affects they other and neither can extricate itself from the other.
I don’t see a reason to doubt the government and PHA have done the best balancing that they can. Surely it’s not easy to temporize for important political reasons—important for the duration and severity of Covid—when doctors want something for purely medical reasons. I certainly don’t see anything cavalier—including the election: the policeman’s did the politicking, the good guys won, and the PHA did the pandemic. Still going into the teeth of the monster in better shape than others. Maybe not an absolute like that funny sign I saw at a logging camp, but I’ll take relatively better any day.
We will agree to disagree on this. Horgans made it clear a few times he bears the responsibility for all decisions.
Today’s presser was a gong show. At least Dr. Henry finally admitted asymptomatic people are spreaders, ironically encouraging widespread masking after refusing to mandate it for months, and it wasn’t even her who did it..it was done under the emergencies act by the minister of public safety.
Schools are allegedly very safe, yet its too dangerous for my kid to have a playdate with the kid he sits beside in class. Try explaining that logic. Every jurisdiction has reported a rise in cases when school returns and yet our premier insists kids aren’t transmitters.
Ok..better off than what? We are coming on strong. They’ve made crucial errors and its coming back to bite them.
Trump said kids aren’t transmitters and the media fact checked him
Horgan says the same thing and everyones silent.
Dr.Tam warned aeresol spread weeks ago, Dr. Henry still said droplets. I’m no doctor but I do know DBH has failed several times to use the Precautionary principle, which is odd because she was the lead on SARS.
In my view a lot of criticism is only created because we lack the information, we want clear honest answers to this mostly unknown virus. I think all people want is the truth. We want as much information as possible to help protect ourselves and our family. If the ‘experts’ or doctors don’t know the answer than just say so and have a suggestion if they have one. It would be nice for our government to inform us where the outbreak(s) are. They certainly tell us about when all the care homes have an outbreak but not anywhere else, too vague, like for example northern Island area or central Island area, why not Chemainus or Nanaimo something like that. I don’t know the why or the thinking behind this kind of action. Toronto, for example, has an actual map of people can see of where all the outbreaks occur at least then people can see if it’s close by or not and act accordingly. Either way I would stop being vigilant about it all that’s for sure.
Those people in care homes should be a priority along with schools too much, testing should be paramount why it isn’t I have no clue. I realize testing costs money but should those kinds of costs be paramount over life? I don’t know the answer. I know how I feel about it all and I don’t run in government or pretend to know any of these answers but certainly if you can spend billions on a questionable dam you can spare some for testing on care homes and schools, these people need help.
Typo..meant “wouldn’t ”
stop being vigilent….
One hundred million dollars a month spent on Site C!
That’s $25 million per week!
Surely the amount spent on testing pales beside that!
Horgan, get your priorities straight! SHUT DOWN SITE C.!
That enormously expensive energy will be useless if there’s no one left to use it!
The Precautionary Principle never was really put to use, but profound incompetence and negligence was.
Two important threads to read today. These are both key threads from two excellent reporters on the *actual* secrecy of this govt and PHO. This isnt a perception, this is factual.( and again, this is something we all decried under the BC Lib governments, so why the acceptance of zero transparency now?)
Also BC testing numbers reported on the BC dashboard, contain private, movie industry tests, and makes our testing numbers look bigger than they actually are.
In reality, public testing is thousands lower.
Follow his tweets and replies for info relevant to BC. Hes the go to source for many reporters now.
” We have yet to understand why this hasn’t been implemented. It’s widely used in the United States, it’s used to keep the film industry going, to keep sports leagues going. We think it would be appropriate to use this kind of technology to protect our most vulnerable,” he tells NEWS 1130, adding stronger screening is needed to give seniors access to their families. “Lots of people are passing away, unfortunately, cut off from their families, and also to prevent the virus coming in from staff, which is what we find is happening in Fraser Health at the moment.”
Does Bonnie Henry still think its not the best use of resources, or can we move on this so elders stop dying and families can reunite.
politicians are politicians. that is why they all behave sort of the same in similar situations. Get over it. About all we can expect from the various parties is a bit of difference. We may critizie Horgan and the NDP, but really, do you want the B.C. Lieberals back? Its not that we shouldn’t criticise or vocalise about what we perceive as wrong, but they are just human and most are trying to do their best. Now that of course that leads to the question of Best for Whom.
Rule One for any political party: to gain power and retain it. Everything else is secondary.
Rule Two, look at rule one.
We can look a the NDP and say good on them. they turn out to be, along with Yukon to be the only governments which didn’t claw back the whole of the COIVD money the feds sent out. so one could say if that is the big thing between the NDP and the right wing governments across Canada, good on them. some times its the little things in life which count.
We can critise the government all we want for their actions, inactions, etc. but in the end it sup to each of us to take responsibnility for our own actions.
As some one earlier mentioned we live in an earth quake zone. Most people don’t keep an earth quake kit in their vehicles. I have always. Not going through a crisis without a bottle of booze, a book clean cloths food and water and blankets. oh and a first aid kit. Axe and pry bar. if people won’t deal with an earth quake kit how do you expect them to deal with the virus. We are of the first world and haven’t had to deal with second or third world problems. we think the government or science will take care of everything. it can’t, it won’t.