I’ve been away for a long time. I had to attend to various little duties and I remain very sad. So many have died and they are mostly older people, the poor, the black, the homeless. Covid-19 does not discriminate, but too many victims had no shelter or false shelters.
For my part, an old injury resurfaced: ulcers. I also remembered my mother teaching us that death, God Himself, came in the night, like a thief, and took us away. Vigilance was necessary. We prayed before going to bed, but all I had to ask God was to wait another day. Asking for more would burden Him. Scheherazade told the first part of a tale that so intrigued the king that he let her live another day to hear the remainder. He didn’t kill her until the story had been told in full. Centuries later, perhaps millennia, a little child in Quebec prayed so her death would be postponed by one more day.
As you can see, Covid-19 has taken its toll on me. Why am I thinking that death will take me in the middle of the night? That feeling is best described as archaic, but we die.
Today’s big debate in Quebec and the rest of Canada is whether and when to reopen schools. Life at home with the children may be too difficult. In theory, schools were to reopen on Monday, May 4th, but although governments have a duty to provide children with an education, reopening was postponed until May 19th , but the government will not demand that parents send their children to school. Reopening may again be postponed. The virus is still active and remains lethal in too many cases. Viruses run their course and find epicenters. The State of New York and New York city were the United States’ epicenter. I hope therefore that United States President Trump will bail out the State of New York. In Canada, Quebec was targeted and Montreal was Covid-19’s epicenter. All one could do was create rules of engagement: washing one’s hand, distancing, wearing a mask and locking down infested areas.
We have learned, however, that long-term care facilities could not cope with this new reality. One could not distance patients or residents so, the staff of these homes were overwhelmed. Many walked out for fear of catching an easily transmissible virus.
We have also learned that certain populations were more vulnerable than others. The old are at risk, but also the black. Scientists have therefore begun studying vulnerability. I quoted Dr. Vinh-Kim Nguyen in my last post. (See RELATED ARTICLE) Dr Vinh-Kim Nguyen has been studying Aids/Sida, and his regional area of expertise is West Africa (see Dr Vinh-Kim Nguyen). Studying regions, populations, and the origin of a pathogen is legitimate. Other scientists study the benefits and harm attached to confinement.
Canada’s top doctor, Dr Theresa Tam is continuing to focus on her work, despite allegations of conspiracy with China. Determining the origin of the outbreak is necessary, but accusing Dr Theresa Tam of conspiracy with China smacks of racism. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has defended Dr Tam.
One of the good news is that an antibody could prevent infections. This is progress. But we are dealing with the novel coronavirus. It is a new virus and it may have infected people months before its breakout in Wuhan.
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/shutdown-must-end-with-safety-measures-says-mcgill (this link has expired)
It has been noted that the poor are at risk. Montreal’s outbreak has affected the residents of Montreal-North. Its residents are poor. They do not have computers, cell phones. In short, they did not have access and protective garments (PPE). Finding masks, gloves and shields, PPE, has bedeviled the pandemic, but it killed the poor and the homeless. Shame on us.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling for a national policy on contact tracing, even at this point. Had such a policy been put into place at an early date, it would have lessened the severity of the pandemic. But it seems we were all caught by surprise.
However, testing is slow, which is the main problem. Had it worked immediately, the Spartan cube could have helped determine who was infected and who wasn’t. This would have benefited the economy. However, the Spartan Cube has not proven as reliable “in person” as it did in a lab. Adjustments have to be made. This is a sign of the times. Covid-19 is a new virus and we were not prepared when it hit.
Both Doug Ford, Ontario’s Premier and François Legault, Quebec’s premier, hesitate to lift the lockdown. It could backfire, so everyone is worried.
There is some validity to the notion of herd immunity, but there can be no doubt that self isolating and distancing have spared countless lives. It is as in Giovanni Boccacci’s Decameron. Therefore, Premiers Doug Ford of Ontario and François Legault of Quebec are not pushing people back to work. They are testing, and testing, and testing, but cannot test everyone.
I believe this is my last post on the pandemic. It tested us and researchers will have much to study. I have in fact discovered areas of learning. Our top doctors are the heroes of the day. Dr Bonnie Henry of British Columbia looks very tired, but women want to purchase the shoes she wears. Premiers Doug Ford and François Legault joined hands in battling a common enemy that has yet to be defeated. There may be a second and a third wave. I expect changes in many sectors.
I offer my deepest condolences to the persons who have lost a dear one or dear ones.
The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on May 8, 2020:
There are 64,922 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.
- Quebec: 35,238 confirmed (including 2,631 deaths, 8,673 resolved)
- Ontario: 19,121 confirmed (including 1,477 deaths, 13,569 resolved)
- Alberta: 6,017 confirmed (including 114 deaths, 3,809 resolved)
- British Columbia: 2,288 confirmed (including 126 deaths, 1,512 resolved)
- Nova Scotia: 1,007 confirmed (including 44 deaths, 708 resolved)
- Saskatchewan: 531 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 329 resolved)
- Manitoba: 272 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 243 resolved), 11 presumptive
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 244 resolved)
- New Brunswick: 120 confirmed (including 118 resolved)
- Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 26 resolved)
- Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
- Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)
- Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
- Nunavut: No confirmed cases
- Total: 64,922 (11 presumptive, 64,911 confirmed including 4,408 deaths, 29,260 resolved)
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2020
- Chronicling Covid-19 (12): The Caregivers (17 April 2020)
JS Bach, Partita in A minor, BWV 1013 —Emmanuel Pahud
© Micheline Walker
8 May 2020