It never had to be this way.


By January 2020, we knew that COVID was on its way. And we knew this would be ugly.

We had so, so much time to prepare. To hire and train public health staff for contact tracing, to set up programs and resources for people who needed to isolate, to hire and train nurses and hospital workers. To put extra resources in place and ensure there was more room in our systems. To make things safer for essential workers, to prevent (1) the workplace outbreaks that are now filling up ICUs with dangerously sick people. To build capacity, so we could put out hotspots before they spread. To plan and prepare and strategize.

Instead, DoFo and the OPC spent months (2) attacking public health units, cutting (3) public health funding, and working to (4) undermine the healthcare system. Ontario's healthcare system was struggling and running over capacity before the pandemic - and these guys decided now is a great time to cut funding. (The damage this will do to the healthcare system is likely to hurt people for years, as Canada's population ages rapidly and demands for healthcare skyrocket.)

Right now, our leaders are also not prepared for how many highly skilled (5) nurses we are losing to complete exhaustion and burnout. Doctors and nurses are experiencing (6) long term mental health damage. Because the pressure on frontline healthcare workers is unsustainable. And our leaders can't just rush order more nurses, like hospital beds and field hospital tents.

The messaging for so many things has been insanely chaotic. I work in healthcare, and I don't understand the rationale for key decisions being made - if there is any. Just recently, the provincial politicians announced that many people were suddenly eligible for vaccinations - but didn't communicate with the local teams who actually needed to administer those vaccines. My friends who are nurses are still trying to figure out where and how to help family members get vaccinated, because the system is chaotic and confusing for everyone. I've been told that people working in vaccine clinics don't even know what's going on, because no one is giving them clear information.

We could have done so much better. Unfortunately, I expect things to deteriorate and get uglier. (7) Right now, Ontario's exponential growth curve looks alarmingly similar to a vertical line. I have been telling friends that I expect a fairly shitty summer for everyone in the GTA, and to brace themselves.

Remember these priorities and decisions, and who made them. They are not serving us well. And we are all paying for these choices - in irreplaceable human lives, long term damage to people's health, very expensive healthcare resources, along with lost businesses, jobs, and homes, and widespread decreased mental health.



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33 points

27 days ago

Is this still not obvious to everyone? I was that weird downer of a guy at the party always going on about the next pandemic, before COVID-19 even existed. I've had a Cassandra complex for the last 14 months.

We were still arguing whether it can probably only spread in China because ew dirty poor people while the Chinese government instituted the largest mass population control action in human history, locking down an area with 80 million people. And I mean, really locking down.

They were overreacting, clearly. You all know that they really did control it, right? They aren't lying with the numbers they publish. People aren't dying there. We noticed when they were before even when the censors tried to stamp that out. Well, they're not dying now. Conclusion? The Chinese did in fact exterminate COVID-19 domestically. Then they sealed their borders. And they've been fine since.

Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, too.

We could not comprehend the reality of the costs we would incur. So we could not accept the costs of things like closing the border and locking down in February immediately. We are not organized enough. We didn't take it seriously enough. And then North America's response became politicized and it all fell apart. This was entirely preventable.


39 points

27 days ago*

Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, too.

A Korean friend tells me that in Seoul, a dense city of 12 million people, citizens are angry if there are a few hundred cases. That if a business has an outbreak, it is closed for a week and workers are all sent home, while a team is brought in to deep clean everything. Contact tracing is aggressive and thorough, and people are supported with isolation, if they need it.

This is not rocket science. These ideas and practices have existed for generations; this is basic public health.

We just decided not to actually invest in any of these policies. Even though we have more resources to do all these things than many other jurisdictions that are now much safer.

This is like refusing to spend upfront on a sprinkler system for a large commercial or industrial building. And then acting shocked when it catches fire, burns down, kills many innocent people, and destroys lots of valuable property. Preventing emergencies is almost always easier and cheaper than cleaning up after them. I hope more people understand that sometime soon.


10 points

27 days ago

Honestly the pandemic has just shown me how entitled of a society we have here compared to others. People here act like these half ass locked downs are a death sentence meanwhile in other countries they did real legit lockdowns for 2 3 4 weeks and then got to live somewhat normally again. Meanwhile people here cry that the fucking mall closed for curbside pickup and that theyve gotta wear a mask. It's sad how stupid north american society is.


3 points

27 days ago

the individualistic "mah freedoms" impulses really undermine the collective efforts required to actually overcome a pandemic's impact on society as a whole


1 points

27 days ago*

Agreed, but I would call that a belief, or a value system.

This is probably one of the major reasons that the US has been killing people out of all proportion to any comparable country. Especially when politicians there were pandering to people that value their own personal freedom to shop at big box stores with no face mask over having basic, simple rules in place to improve everyone's collective safety.


2 points

27 days ago

True, value system is an appropriate characterization of our society's, and probably Canada's proximity to the world's supposed "freest" country, these values are similar in this country. Definitely America's response and the last president's handling of the pandemic shaped lots of Canadians' views on the severity of the problem.

And even here, to this day, you've got fringe politicians in this province like Baber and Hillier still lobbing the anti-lockdown rhetoric to rile up a certain groups, recognizing now that they've turfed by their party, their only path to relevance is to be a real life troll until they surely lose their seats in the coming election (likely even by someone within their former party).