Braid: No room for COVID-19 denial in the face of Foothills outbreaks

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Behaving like this in front of your child is obviously a terrible example. But people who break out in this COVID rage lose all sense of dignity.

The extended video tirade of the woman in a Fabricland store is one example. She shouted that COVID-19 is “a hoax” and “no one is sick”.

The unidentified woman was caught on camera mocking and berating employees at a Calgary store who asked her to put on a mask, according to city bylaw. The incident took place at a Calgary Fabricland on Sunday, September 13. Photo par Screenshot / Twitter

Worse yet, the guy yelling at the women who asked him to wear a mask in their northwest liquor store.

This one was a show of bare racism and hatred – so raw I find it hard to watch it.

He shouted that the women should go back to where they came from. He called them a “piece of s…” Coun. Jyoti Gondek rightly called this “racist waste”.

These episodes are far from the norm in Calgary. The majority of people are careful with COVID behavior, respectful of others, and certainly not racist.

But the hostile trend appears to be intensifying with the pandemic itself. The consensus around reasonable safeguards is showing signs of cracking, just when we need to pull ourselves together once again.

Shortly after a Foothills Hospital press conference on Monday, Dr Deena Hinshaw said 358 new cases were detected in Alberta over the weekend. Seventeen outbreaks of two to four cases have now been identified in schools, and two schools are under official surveillance, meaning they have five or more cases.

Overall, there are 126 active cases in 81 schools.

But the chief medical officer of health is issuing the same note of hope as hospital authorities, who insist Foothills is perfectly safe to visit or seek treatment.

Hinshaw says infections have occurred in a small percentage of schools, and where they do occur, they are quickly contained.

Alberta’s daily cases still have not erupted beyond the regular counts of around 100 to 140. But they are not in decline either.

There is a real risk that it will escape official control. This is exactly why people should follow reasonable mask-wearing and distance protocols.

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