Quebec’s Premier François Legault said yesterday afternoon that the province had 19,319 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 963 from the day before. A total of 939 people have died. Quebec now has 20,000 cases.
(I hope the following links take you to the correct quotation. I had to leave my desk because of fatigue and illness. The last link I found today.)
Many Québécois would like to return to work, but several have yet to be tested. Social distancing helps considerably and it could also be that people exposed to the virus grow a degree immunity. Be that as it may, Quebec has not “flattened the curve” and I do not think it will in the foreseeable future. In fact, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, requested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau send medically-trained members of the Canadian Armed Forces to help fight Covid-19. A large proportion of victims live in long-term care facilities.
I have already mentioned that Quebec’s early March-break may have led to contamination. I went into self-isolation on 10 March, but nearly a week later, people were going on a holiday inside or outside Quebec. Other factors may have led to the rapid spread of the disease. Covid-19 is a pandemic and, by definition, contagious, but one should be careful.
Prime Minister Legault leads a party and a government that is devoting significant energy turning a lay society into a lay society. Québécois could not wear a veil that hid their face. But Coalition avenir Québec went further. One cannot display a sign of one’s religion. In other words, a Muslim woman cannot wear a veil, including a discrete veil. Quebec has welcomed North Africans, white and black, because they speak French. In 1974, Quebec became a unilingual province, but its birth rate was very low. Is laïcité (secularism) so important an issue? Finding a general practicioner is difficult in Quebec. The waiting-list is three years.
The Shortage of Tests
Moreover, the shortage of tests has been the bane of this Pandemic. It has led to massive self-isolation in many countries. If persons have not been tested, they cannot return to the workplace safely. Many would test negative, but many would test positive. Persons who would test positive could infect others. The pandemic could therefore grow more severe. However, people fear a recession and, possibly, another Great Depression.
In this regard, it may be useful to remember that the Spanish Flu Pandemic and Word War I were followed by the roaring 20s. The Great Depression occurred in the 1930s and was ended when World War II broke out. For the United States, war broke out on two fronts. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan, after the surprise and devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, on Sunday, 7 December 1941. I would agree with Dr Fauci. Returning to work too soon could result in a second wave of contagion. It could “backfire and slow economic recovery.”
Medicine in Quebec
This topic is touchy. In Quebec, students do not need to complete a Bachelor of Science degree before entering medical school. They enter medical school after the CEGEP, their twelfth and thirteenth years of schooling. During the two years they attend a CEGEP, they prepare for the profession or trade they have chosen. They enter medical school three years earlier than they would if they studied outside Quebec. This may not make Quebec doctors lesser doctors, but…
More importantly, if a doctor’s patient needs to be hospitalized, he or she is treated by a hospital doctor. My mother was admitted to a hospital after a fall, and she was treated by a hospital doctor. She was taking Coumadin, a blood thinner, which was indicated on her chart. She was nevertheless given another blood thinner, which caused her to hemorrage. She nearly died and lost the ability to use her legs. The staff had made a mistake. They said they were too busy. Would this have happened had she been under the care of her own doctor? In this instance, the system failed a patient.
As for patients who enter a long-term care facility, or Nursing Home, similar to the one my mother lived in, they are treated by that facility’s doctor(s). My mother could not understand why her doctor never visited. It was a source of distress, which is not trivial. Distress is stress and stress leads to illnesses. However, seriously ill Covid-19 victims are treated in an intensive care unit, an ICU. Yet, they are infected in a long-term care facility.
So, one wonders.
- How many patients are assigned to one caregiver?
- Can patients be treated in nursing homes? These differ.
- Moreover, if a doctor visits, does he or she visit patients regularly and establish a rapport with them?
- Are these facilities sufficiently sanitized?
I may be wrong, but I am inclined to believe that the system might be failing older citizens in Quebec. There have been and there are outbreaks in nursing homes outside Quebec, but are these as overwhelming as they are in Quebec? The medically-trained members of the Armed Forces are assessing the situation.
In short, I am alarmed and doubt very much that the lockdown will be lifted before early June, not to mention that the lockdown itself is leading to health problems, such as addictions and domestic violence. Rich provinces, Alberta for instance, can help persons who are in self-isolation. Not all provinces are as rich as Alberta.
Love to everyone 💕
P. S. I have disabled the “like” button for this post. One likes to be informed, but the information is grim. During the night I kept thinking I had made an error and reported the wrong numbers. The “like” button tells me I have a community.
© Micheline Walker
21 April 2020