Braid: UCP government’s tense and delicate dance with COVID-19 timing


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The Government of Alberta’s ABTraceTogether app has identified 70 close contacts since its launch in May. Photo par Greg Southam /20092007A

The government clearly did not hire more tracers quickly enough. But no one in the tracing operation gives up. They still feed the useful information system daily.

I got a fascinating note from Ross Thurston, whose wife, Emily McKenzie, is an AHS epidemiologist and senior scientist deeply involved in the tracing operation.

He says that despite the hardships, there are “days of amazing development and accomplishments. Hard wins with a sneaky and secretive force …

“Over 1,000 people do instant science together, day and night for months, without arguing, bitching or complaining.

“They are literally fixing the pandemic. There is heartache and disappointment and it was never going to be perfect. But it’s as well managed as it gets. ”

Data from tracing is fundamental for planning and decision making. The work is done by incredibly dedicated people. “Dunkirk with nerds,” Thurston calls this vital effort.

All the work of the AHS and the government is exhausting, the pressure almost unbearable. People who think that health officials and AHS mindlessly jostle each other are completely wrong.

They all know that if they get this timing dance wrong with COVID-19, there will be a lot more personal suffering and economic pain.

And, probably, little forgiveness.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Calgary Herald.

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Twitter: @DonBraid

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