Care for the carers

By Darren Lum

As of June 11, the province has lifted its masking requirements in places such as hospitals and public transit, but not long-term care and retirement homes.
Far be it for me to question what motivates politicians to do what they do, but I still cannot understand why people can’t vote for a government we need, or why they end up voting for a government that consistently shows us who they are and what they stand for.

Think about who you want to hire to work on your car or your home. You don’t call in the person who knows a lot of people, has influence and authority. You look to the people with the related experience and skills specific to the work needed performed. So, why are we doing that with health care? Sure, there’s the province’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore who said the decision to lift masking requirements was based on high vaccination rates and an improvement with the cases of COVID-19 in the province. It’s difficult to trust Moore, who upon closer examination of past decisions during the several waves of the pandemic it’s clear who is really making the decisions and why. There were past signs of improvement with case numbers and then another wave and another.
Placating the few in the province because of the inconvenience of having to wear material on our faces is not in the best interests of the community.

So, why is it when the doctors that most of us turn to when we’re sick or confused about our bodies are being ignored in a situation that concerns their workplace and our place of care. It is one thing to lift health measures such as mask wearing or proof of vaccination in public and private places where people can decide to go there or not, but in the health care setting there are people who cannot such as the sick, and vulnerable. Go to a sporting event. Go to a concert and decide if you want to mask for your own safety and others. A provincial order also carries the force of law. After the three-week occupation in Ottawa, we’ve seen how even the law has little bearing on a segment of the population when enforcement doesn’t follow. Without the mask mandate now, where does that leave hospitals, who have asked visitors and staff to continue to wear masks, as far as enforcement?

Health care professionals have already endured so much, whether it’s been from the stress of getting overworked because there isn’t enough support with the lack of staff, or having to tolerate poor public behaviour and, simply, facing the constant risk of contracting COVID-19. We all know the difficulty with getting doctors up here to live and work, so why risk the health of the ones that have committed to serving this community. Let’s remember as much as we need each other to make this community work doctors can choose to leave not just this community, but this province and I wouldn’t blame them with how provincial decisions related to healthcare have been made and look to be in the future, which contrasts with what has repeatedly been asked – listen to the people who know instead of the ones that think they do. The election is over so there isn’t an opportunity to select government now. However, we can make decision to help or possibly add to the challenge for health care workers. Let’s not whine about wearing masks for healthcare and for each other. We’re in this together until we’re not and then where are we?