We’ve once again hit the pause button. In Ontario, starting today, restaurants are closed to indoor dining, gyms and theaters are closed, schools are remote at least until January 17th and employers are asked to let workers work from home when possible.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I was about to win an epic game of snakes and ladders, rolled the dice, moved my pawn and hit a snake that dropped me right back to square one, right back to March of 2020.
It is maddening. People are upset, no so much upset about having to do this again, but about the fact that the government had literally 2 years to prepare for this eventuality, but instead, much like what happens in the movie “Don’t look up“, chose to adopt a “sit tight, then assess” approach.
What is a “sit tight, then assess” approach?
It is denying that Covid is airborne. It is failing to make sure EVERY classroom in Ontario has proper HEPA filters and ventilation. It is not providing teachers and students, let alone health care workers, with adequate PPE. It is lacking to implement and enforce a “test to stay” procedure, with provided rapid tests, in both classroom and workplace settings. It is declining to take decisive action when looking at other countries and seeing where we are headed. It is adding beds to an already strained health care system that already has major problems staffing existing ones for a photo op. It is using the upcoming elections as an influential factor when making public health decisions.
The recent measures are once again a day late and a dollar short. They will do little to nothing in making sure we don’t hit the wall, especially since these measures seem to be in place only to perpetrate that “sit tight, then assess” mindset. The Ford Government is simply waiting to see where it goes, sort of like they did when they heard of Omicron. They took a gamble on the fact South Africa did not see a huge raise in hospitalizations, and bet all they had on it.
We have stopped testing. While I understand that testing everybody takes a lot of resources, I fear that having an invisible wave of Omicron could lead to potentially thousands of Ontarians left to deal with the effects of long Covid, and not finding the help needed as they would not have been properly diagnosed. I also fear that without confirmation of a positive case, many, especially those with really mild symptoms, will brush off and ignore their illness, leading to more infections.
In addition to disruption of services in hospitals, we realistically could see a global break in other community settings. Can you imagine what will happen if our fire department is out due to Covid protocols? What about our police service? Or Walmart Logistics? It’s one thing to have the NBA or NHL cancel tickets for a game, but what if our paramedics get hit? We’ve seen thousands of flights cancelled in recent days, and our hospital has been hit hard already with over 40 staff testing positive, what happens if thousands of people throughout the supply chain lead to more shortages? What if we no longer can get our hands or the necessities?
My stance may seem far fetched and straight out of a conspiracy theorist’s playbook, but is it that crazy? The next few months will tell.
In the meantime, follow the guidelines, stay home when sick, vaccinate, wear better masks and wash your hands!