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Public Health, What Public Health?

As Protect Our Province BC has been saying, when it comes to COVID-19, there is no Public Health in BC.

Protect Our Province BC is not giving up. Nor should you. We need all of you to help us.

We have recently modified our website to include a new Tab: Take Action.  

What you can do:

  1. Send a letter to your MLA asking that masks in BC healthcare, LTC and Assisted Living be reinstated now. 

This week’s removal of masking directives in healthcare settings
does not uphold a human rights centered approach to public health.

Kasari Govender, B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, April 12, 2023

  1. Sign this national petition started  by Dr. Iris Gorfinkel:

“Canadian hospitals need to maintain MASK mandates” 

What has PoP BC been up to since our last newsletter?

On March 15, Protect Our Province BC participated in International Long Covid Awareness Day.

It was heartbreaking to hear all the stories of people with Long Covid whose lives have been turned upside down by a COVID infection or reinfection – going from active individuals in the prime of their lives to housebound or even bedbound, and still struggling with even simple activities of daily living. It steals your life away. Many said they don’t recognize themselves now.

Visit this site to learn more about experiences with Long Covid:  Rona Lisa.

Thankfully there are many support groups, including the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) community, new Long Covid groups, and some non-profit organizations which have stepped up. 

The federal government - the Office of the Science Advisor of Canada in particular - have led the way when it comes to recognizing and understanding Long Covid. The report they released is Post-COVID-19 Condition in Canada: What We Know, What We Don’t Know and a Framework for Action.

All of us will know, or work with, or care for someone with Long Covid. We urge you to read and learn about this disabling and often devastating condition so that you can best support and care for them. 

We encourage everyone to watch Knowable Magazine’s excellent video:

Long Covid: A parallel pandemic - and an excellent 7 part series on Long Covid in children

Be mindful not to watch this when you are having a difficult day.

Blogs

February 14, 2023. I Want to Talk About Children

A conversation with Dr. Rae Duncan, a UK cardiologist and Long Covid researcher and Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy of the World Health Organization Director General on COVID-19. Discussion of what is known so far about the harm COVID-19 is inflicting on the human body.  Dr Duncan shares her own family’s experience in this  heartfelt video.

April 12, 2023. A BC Public Health Scandal: Long Covid, Failure to Warn

Find out what BC health leaders and government officials knew about Long Covid. When they knew it. And what they did not do with the information. 

Briefings

Feb 3, 2023: COVID Reality Check with Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi

Dr. Gandhi shared his thoughts about BC’s pandemic response so far, how the response has fallen short of the best available science and the precautionary principle. 

March 1, 2023: Paxlovid: Why Should You Care?

Discussion about Paxlovid, the antiviral medication used in mild to moderate COVID-19 infection to prevent worsening. BC has the most restrictive access to Paxlovid of any province or territory. 

March 24, 2023: Long Covid – checking in with Lynette 

Lynette shares her Long Covid journey from December 2020 to now - and her concerns that women are particularly impacted by Long Covid.

March 29, 2023: Long Covid – It Could Happen to You

With 10% of people infected with COVID expected to develop Long Covid, this will have a huge impact on individuals, families and communities. Physicians and specialists share their insights.

PoP BC in the News

On the Radio

March 29, 2023. Raising awareness about long COVID | The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn | Live Radio | CBC Listen

April 10, 2023. BC ends mask mandate in health-care facilities | The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn | Live Radio | CBC Listen 

In the Press 

Hot off the press! Our newest Op Ed.

April 21, 2023. Opinion: Why BC Needs to Bring Back Mask Protections The Tyee

We can ignore the virus, but the virus won’t ignore us.

February 21, 2023. Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi speaks on COVID-19, public health, and preventive care  Peak News

March 8, 2023. Moira Wyton, formerly with The Tyee reached out to PoP BC for this article, Spring COVID Boosters Are Recommended, But Are They Coming?

March 30, 2023. CBC News - COVID wastewater uptick in B.C. no cause for alarm, says provincial health officer

April 5, 2023. Burnaby Now - COVID-19 still poses long-term health threat, group warns

April 6, 2023. CHEK News -  B.C. lifts universal mask mandate for health-care facilities, with some exceptions

April 6, 2023. Capital Daily - BC lifts health facility masking and care home visitor requirements, ending final COVID-19 restrictions on public

“‘Just about every single organ in the body can be affected by COVID-19,
and the risk of complications such as Long COVID increases with every repeat infection’. …the province’s approach of focusing on COVID-19’s acute impacts to health is neglecting the long-term impacts that the still-circulating virus can bring.”

Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, retired emergency physician - April 6, 2023- Capital Daily

April 6, 2023. CBC News - B.C. ends mask mandate in health-care facilities and proof of vaccination for long-term care visitors 

__________________________

Now let’s end with a game!

Some time ago we wrote a blog about TRIZ - “the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.”

The Liberating Structures’ version of TRIZ asks you to imagine a goal that is the very opposite of the one you’re trying to achieve with your current project or initiative. It’s a fun exercise to do with a team because people will throw out the wackiest of ideas to achieve an obviously ridiculous outcome. At the end the team looks at the ideas generated and often comes to the realization that many of these supposedly counter-productive actions are actually happening in your own project and preventing you from reaching your goal.  

Confused?  Let’s try it out. 

Imagine being a Provincial Health Officer. Your goal is to prevent illness and protect the public’s health and wellbeing. Your “patient” is the whole population of the province you serve. This includes the very young, the very old, and everyone in between – those with medical conditions, those without, and those who don’t yet know they have a medical condition. Skin colour and savings in the bank don’t matter, nor does your postal code - everyone is included in the whole

Now let’s apply TRIZ, which would have you try and do the exact opposite of what a prudent and competent PHO would do. In BC, this would have you trying to infect as many of the people in British Columbia as possible with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Ready? What could the PHO do to achieve a 100 % infection rate for British Columbians?

She could…

  • Take away any data as to how much virus is circulating in the community.
  • Give the message that the virus is just a cold, really no worse than the flu.
  • Continually repeat that SARS-CoV-2 is a seasonal virus (when it’s an every season virus).
  • Make sure to refer to it as a respiratory virus (when it’s vascular, that is, it infects blood vessels).
  • Avoid talking about the long term complications: new chronic diseases, Long Covid, excess deaths from Covid.
  • Make it difficult to access vaccines while using a vaccine-only strategy.
  • Make it next to impossible to access antiviral medication.
  • Ignore how the virus really spreads through aerosols in the air we breathe and share.
  • Make sure to remove all indoor masking requirements early when the highly contagious Omicron sub-variants are circulating.
  • Make sure to repeatedly paint those who continue to wear a mask as “anxious.” 
  • Finally, when some stubborn people still refuse to get infected, remove mask protections in healthcare, Long Term Care and Assisted Living. Time it, so it happens just as her own surveillance data shows rising cases of Covid infections and the Canadian Covid-19 Forecast Score hits 1 in 24 British Columbians being infected (April 2-8).

We could go on, but let’s stop here. Looking at this list, how many of these actions is BC’s PHO actually taking? Yes, that’s right. All of them! It’s a sobering exercise, is it not?

Thanks for reading this far! 

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Archived Briefings from Protect Our Province BC

A Protect Our Province BC panel discussion with A panel discussion about how we as a community can pull together to create a safer learning environment for kids when school starts again in September! We can avoid another ‘tripledemic’ if we work together! Ready for Fall 2023? video: Briefing video:
“COVID-19 vaccination is safe during pregnancy and may protect newborns from infection, especially if vaccines are given in the second or third trimester. This is similar to what we are already doing with other maternal vaccines, including TDaP and seasonal influenza.” – Dr. Eastabrook
“If we had an epidemic of people with broken limbs and we saw people in plasters and crutches, it would be more evident. But there is a lot of disability that is happening, which is a hidden disability often, which is why we need to talk about it more, for people to understand what the consequences are. And that will help to make better decisions.” - Lynette

More News from Protect Our Province BC

Second in a series of two posts by an Alberta mom. Find the first post here: No One Is Listening To Me Image: The Rona Lisa by Rosie Pidgeon, a young Belfast art student living with Long Covid.  To view her artwork, please visit @art_byrosie_ Alberta Long Covid Kids During the Delta wave in October… Continue reading No More Stolen Childhoods
Alberta Mom Photo: @BerlinBuyers My first confirmed Covid infection was in fall 2022 at a time when the few Covid protections we had left only applied to healthcare settings. I knew I was at higher risk of developing Long Covid as I am a working age woman. This terrified me as my son had already had… Continue reading No One is Listening to Me
General Information Q: How accurate are Rapid Antigen Tests?  A: Positive test results on rapid tests are generally accurate, and if you test positive you should take precautions (wear a high-quality respirator mask, isolate, inform your contacts) to avoid passing on the virus.  A negative test doesn't necessarily mean your don't have Covid; it *could*… Continue reading Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) – FAQ