International Review Says British Columbia ‘Reluctant’ to Track Evidence of Airborne COVID-19 Transmission –

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International Review Says British Columbia ‘Reluctant’ to Track Evidence of Airborne COVID-19 Transmission – fr


VANCOUVER – Responses from officials in British Columbia are part of a damning analysis of public health’s reluctance to recognize airborne transmission of COVID-19 despite scientific consensus on the issue.

The new study, led by an influential and well-respected Oxford professor, includes case studies in British Columbia and Quebec, where responses pointed to rejection and reluctant acceptance by those responsible for public health elsewhere.

The play is titled “Orthodoxy, illusio and playing the scientific game: A Bourdieu’s analysis of the science of infection control in the COVID-19 pandemic”. Simply put, they conclude that rigid thinking from mainstream medical education coupled with political influence has led health officials to dismiss evidence of airborne COVID-19 transmission for months.

“Covid is airborne, this has been proven, so our article focuses on ‘why are public health authorities refusing to recognize it? Said the study co-author and professor of public health at the University of Victoria, Damien Contandriopoulos. “What we saw was that doctors trained in infectious diseases realized that they were overwhelmed, overwhelmed and wrong – and instead of saying ‘oh, oops’, what they say is’ oh , it can’t be true ‘and the reaction was just’ let’s pretend this doesn’t exist ‘and we see a lot of that in all public health authorities. “

The research was organized by Trisha Greenhalgh of Oxford, professor of primary health sciences, influential in her field. She contacted Contandriopoulos and another British professor to collaborate on the analysis. https://twitter.com/trishgreenhalgh

“The failure of scientific and political bodies to recognize and act on the evidence base for timely airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is both a mystery and a scandal,” the front line reads. of the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed. “Measures to control aerosol transmission are more difficult, more expensive in the short term and (therefore) politically less popular.”

British Columbia researchers had advocated a change in public messaging to reflect evolving understanding of the virus, but the province’s top doctor instead came up with a convoluted response that only recognized indoor air transmission. with poor ventilation – but this is precisely what researchers warn is the most dangerous. enhancement and needs to be emphasized.

“There is a good alignment between the public health authorities who were reluctant to change their minds, and the fact that the political actors were rather happy to do nothing different,” Contandriopoulos said. “Accepting that recognition of the virus is on hold would mean looking at what’s going on in schools – are the protocols still good?” What is happening in hospitals? What’s the plan to come back to campus in the fall at universities? Lots of tough questions like this.

Experts and union leaders have been raising these exact concerns for months with little result.

A culture of rejection in British Columbia

While Contandriopoulos described Dr Bonnie Henry in particular as “stubborn, reluctant to accept rapidly changing facts,” he said the attitude was widespread among health officials.

From the first days when in February 2020, when the BCCDC tweeted a video from Dr Eleni Galanis insisting that “it is not an airborne virus”, to the deputy provincial health official, few public health officials have recognized the results of engineering and airborne researchers.

“There is absolutely no evidence that this disease is airborne, and we know that if it were airborne, the steps we took to control COVID-19 would not have worked, ”said Dr. Reka Gustafson, Deputy Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. CTV Morning Live in June 2020, when hundreds of scientists join forces to say just that. “We are convinced that the majority of transmission of this virus is by droplets and by contact.”

The World Health Organization has been equally slow and resistant to changing its guidelines, despite the evidence, and the study’s authors say orthodox public health officials seized this to justify their own skepticism.

When CTV News raised the issue with the Minister of Health in April, noting that the US CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada updated their posts as British Columbia public health officials downplayed or rejected the idea of ​​aerial propagation, he was on the defensive.

“The BCCDC has been, I think, a national leader and a world leader,” said Adrian Dix, although that is patently untrue in this case.

The next day, Vancouver Coastal Health quietly changed its website to remove a sentence saying there was no evidence of airborne transmission, and two weeks later, the BCCDC updated its website to include discussion or aerosol propagation.

Politics at stake despite demands for independence

Contandriopoulos said if the third wave could not have been avoided with airborne prevention methods, he and his colleagues believe it could have been mitigated.

They insist that the public health experts at the head of the government bureaucracy are appointed by politicians and it is unrealistic to expect them to all make their own calls.

“There’s absolutely no way for a public health worker to say, ‘I’m going to be out of touch with whatever the government wants me to say and I’m going to run my own show,’ they have to work together,” a- he declared. . “It is not so much a question of individuals, it is not so much a question of Dr Henry or Dr Haruda in Quebec, or any other jurisdiction. What our article shows is that there is a pattern – a pattern that is far more fundamental and important than people. “

The authors urge governments to learn from their mistakes, fully accept airborne transmission, and accept that a multidisciplinary approach to public health from a variety of experts is the best way forward, as the variants and the vaccine hesitation could lead to the COVID-19 pandemic. for much longer than anyone would like.

“But since the transmission is mostly by air, different measures are needed,” they wrote. “Including ventilation, air filtration, reduction of space and time spent indoors, greater attention to the quality and fit of masks, more widespread masking indoors and extended high-level protection for health care and other personnel at risk.

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