The big anti-lockout protests in Alberta are “a slap in the face” for healthcare workers fighting the third wave, says a Calgary doctor. “We know that there is a significant likelihood that this event will become a super-broadcaster event, and that the people or individuals who attended gatherings like this, will become our patients,” said Dr. Gabriel Fabreau. , internist at the Peter Lougheed Center in Calgary and assistant professor at the University of Calgary.
“We are doing all we can to save all the lives we can… anyone and everyone, whatever their beliefs, but that only adds to the burden,” he said. The flow Matt Galloway.
“When everyone works as hard as them, it’s a bit of a slap in the face. “
Fabreau said he had to send three patients to intensive care on Sunday night and break the news to their families over the phone.
“Knowing that all of this is preventable with better adherence to public health measures sooner – you know, it hurts,” he said.
The number of COVID-19 cases per capita in Alberta became the highest in North America this week, with an all-time high of 22,920 active COVID-19 cases recorded in the province this weekend. On Tuesday, the seven-day average of new daily cases also broke records, reaching 1,973 cases.
Over the weekend, hundreds of people attended a rodeo 30 kilometers south of Red Deer, Alta., Billed as a protest against COVID-19 restrictions. Alberta Health Services said they were exploring their legal options during the event, which violates public health orders banning outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
On Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the fine for violating public health measures would double to $ 2,000. The maximum fine for serious offenses remains $ 100,000.
He also announced on Tuesday evening new public health measures, intended to curb the spread in schools, places of worship, businesses and private gatherings.
“If the exponential growth of COVID-19 in Alberta continues, it would start to push the limits of our hospital capacity, even rising and expanding, within weeks,” Kenney said Tuesday.
“We must not and we will not force our doctors and nurses to decide who receives care and who does not. “
Fabreau said he was relieved that stronger measures were introduced to slow the spread, but was also frustrated that they had not been introduced sooner.
“No matter what happens now, we know there is a lag, so it will be another two weeks of increasing hospitalizations, and we are concerned about the sustainability of that,” he said.
Kenney rejects ‘aluminum hat’ conspiracies
During a live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday night, Kenney said he received a message from the organizers of last weekend’s rodeo, who called him “tyrannical” and accused him of violating the rights of the man for limiting public gatherings in the pandemic.
Kenney called the message a “tin hat” and said people who buy into “crazy” conspiracy theories are not part of the United Conservative Party base.
Melanee Thomas, professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said that “saying it this way doesn’t help much, but it’s also pretty clear that it’s part of the basics. “
She referred to a public letter against public health measures in April, signed by several UCP backbenchers. At the time, Kenney said dissent in the UCP caucus was okay, as long as MPs didn’t violate health restrictions themselves.
During a live broadcast on Tuesday, the prime minister said he had been “viciously attacked” for tolerating skepticism and debate over government excesses, but he still welcomed differences of opinion. that they did not pose a risk to public health.
Thomas said that “the stance he takes, the language used” suggests that politics may be at stake.
“They strike me as much more on the political objectives and the maintenance of the internal unity of the party as on the advice of public health experts and epidemiologists to control them,” she said.
Kenney has been criticized for delaying implementation of the restrictions, relying on personal responsibility and failing to enforce the measures when they are put in place.
Tim Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, believes that a “patchwork and confused approach to politics has frustrated Albertans.”
This makes the fight against the pandemic more difficult because “those who violate the restrictions and those who protest against the restrictions are clearly embracing disinformation,” he said.
He told Galloway that “being frustrated, feeling distressed, feeling untrustworthy of your government means you are more likely to accept disinformation.”
He warned that the polarization of public opinion could be one of the legacies of the pandemic across Canada.
“At first we were really together, but we became more polarized,” he said.
“Still, let’s always remember that most Canadians… support immunization, support these lockdowns, want to get through this together. “
Written by Padraig Moran, with files from CBC News. Produced by Alex Zabjek and Rachel Levy-McLaughlin.
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