I read COVID updates from Brendan at Blind Injustice regularly, so I thought I’d take the idea, and write one of my own.
Jason Kenney and his band of idiots he calls government dubbed Summer 2021 as the ‘Best Summer Ever’. On July 1st he eliminated all health restrictions and measures in place to try and keep people safe. No masks. No six feet distance. Everything was done. Jason Kenney and his cabinet had decided that COVID no longer existed and that we were going to proceed as though it was all a distant memory.
The province then announced that in August, they would be removing the ability for general public to get tested. There was going to be no isolation if you did test positive, and the province would no longer be tracking cases through the community.
COVID was still very much a reality at this point in time, but no one who worked in any government position was willing to admit that it was. It was like they just… forgot about it.
Jason Kenney then went on holiday for 3+ weeks. The chief medical officer of health stopped making appearances, stopped providing case numbers, stopped answering questions. She just kind of… stopped doing her job.
The new rules, that were to come into effect on August 16th said that the only way you could get a test was if you were travelling and paid to get it done privately, or if you were being admitted to the ICU.
On August 13th, they backtracked on their decision to stop testing. But, they continued forward with their decision to no longer track cases through the community.
Jason Kenney was still on holiday, which he assures us was not timed in conjunction with the announcement of the federal election, and things continued falling apart.
As cases continue to spiral out of control, Jason Kenney stayed hidden. Because, you know, conservatives and accountability… but he eventually resurfaced on September 16th, just four days before the federal election. By this point time, hospitals were already overrun. We’ve been reaching between 1,000-2,000+ cases a day for weeks, and because there’s such a large population of unvaccinated people in this province, when they get Delta Variant, they’re getting VERY, VERY SICK.
Let’s start with the painstaking truth that the unvaccinated population of this province are getting sick. Really sick. Alberta has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country, and one of the highest rates of anti-mask, anti-science, crowds spreading dangerous misinformation about the virus.
As of yesterday (a lot of provinces don’t report numbers on weekends), there were a total of 45,042 active (known) cases in Canada. As of yesterday, 20,040 of those active cases are in Alberta. That is 44 percent of all active cases in the country that are in one province.
For context of why this is so bad, Alberta is the fourth most populous province in the country with 4.3 million people. Ontario, a province with 5,747 cases, has 14.5 million people.
There are currently 1061 people in hospital. There are currently 243 people in the ICU.
243 people is THE MOST amount of people that have ever been in ICU at one time, in this province, since Canada was founded.
This past week, Dr. Verna Yiu, the president of Alberta Health Services said that the only reason people are able to continue being admitted to the ICU is because people are dying at a rate faster than people are being admitted. Which is alarming on it it’s own. It’s even more alarming when you realize that our ICUs are operating at 184% capacity, with use of “surge beds”. Instead of people being in an ICU room on their own, hospitals are having to put surge beds into rooms to have two and three people in one ICU room.
The military has been called in, and are operating to help the health care system from collapse.
Ontario has said they will accept patients needing to be transferred out of Alberta due to lack of space. They would have to be transferred to Ontario because hospital beds in Western Canada are so scarce, there’s nowhere to send people.
If you haven’t heard the story presently national and international news rounds (no joke, it made Forbes, New York Times, Washington Journal), a small town in Alberta decided that, in an effort to gain ‘herd immunity’ they were going to have a COVID spreader party. As a result, an ‘undisclosed’ amount of Edson residents are now in the ICU, or dead. Link: https://edmonton.citynews.ca/video/2021/09/24/its-just-ignorant-edson-residents-doctor-react-to-covid-party/
Health and governing authorities won’t release how many people got sick, wound up in hospital or died from this party because they don’t want the town to be targeted. But, it’s enough people that they’ve released it’s put a significant strain on COVID hospitalizations.
$100 FOR A VACCINE
Our Premier decided the way he was going to get people to get vaccinated was not through educating them, or by making vaccines more accessible, or by calling out misinformation on the spot. He decided people would get vaccinated for $100.
This, of course was a miraculous failure. $100 isn’t going to convince crowds of people spreading misinformation across the world, that a vaccine is more safe than horse-dose ivermectin from the local feed store.
NOT A VACCINE PASSPORT, VACCINE PASSPORT
Our government has been vehemently against the vaccine passport system since before vaccines were even available. Apparently, our Premier is of the belief that eating at a restaurant is a right, not a privilege, and he doesn’t want to restrict people’s rights to eat at restaurants.
However, with the crippling health care system, struggling economy, and businesses losing their workers left, right and centre to COVID infections and having a hard time staying open, our premier decided he was going to issue a “Restrictions Exemption Program”. This, he promises, is not a vaccine passport. Though it looks like the stoner kids project in school, when they half-ass everything they do.
Under the ‘restrictions exemption program’, businesses were required to either operate at 30 percent capacity, or, ask people for vaccination proof to get in and be able to operate at 100 percent capacity. Under the restriction exemption program unvaccinated individuals are not eligible to eat inside of a restaurant, but instead are given seats on the patio. This, of course, strips the privilege of eating indoors from the people who believe eating indoors is a right, so anti-vaxxers weren’t happy and they took to protesting.
Oh, and churches are exempt from restriction exemption program because COVID obviously can’t spread in churches. At least that’s what religious people believe? Or, perhaps our premier just doesn’t want to piss off people who have good Christian values.
PROOF OF VACCINATION
Instead of providing people with a laminated card, like Manitoba, or a QR code, like British Columbia, Alberta opted for an editable PDF.
I kid you not. Our ‘Proof of Vaccine’ can be attained by going to a website and putting in our name and birthday. The system spits out an editable PDF document in which you can then change everything on the form.
This means, you don’t have to get a vaccine to get a proof of vaccination. It took people roughly 30 minutes to figure this out, before it was plastered across the interwebs. Who knows how many thousands of unvaccinated people have proof of vaccination now.
Essentially, the government undermined the entire system before they even started. Businesses have no way of knowing whether or not someone’s proof of vaccination is legitimate or not.
When asked why they made editable documents the government’s response was that they cannot control how people take advantage of the system and they asked that everyone practice personal responsibility and do the right thing. Because, you know, clicking that “Lock” button on the PDF was too damn hard, and the past 18 months have shown us that personal responsibility means a lot to absolutely NO ONE IN THIS FUCKING PROVINCE.
Because proof of vaccination in Alberta is so easily editable, and thus has a high probability of being fraudulent, it’s unknown whether or not my proof of vaccination will be valid for travel.
I’m planning to spend Thanksgiving with family, and will need proof of vaccination to get there, so… we’ll see how that goes.
HERE AND NOW, SEPTEMBER 25TH
The hospitals are full. The military is here. People are critically ill and on the verge of needing to be flown across the country to be kept alive. Kids are getting delta at school and the government is pretending it isn’t happening. All elective surgeries in the province for the next month are cancelled. Organ transplants, tumor removals, cancer biopsies, joint replacements, things that people need are being put on hold for undisclosed amounts of time due to the collapse of the health care system.
Proof of vaccination isn’t proof anything at all, because it’s editable. And, tomorrow night, the NHL starts and 18,000 people will pack into one arena for a ‘good ole hockey game’.
COVID AFTER ONE MONTH
If you were around this blog in August you’ll know that I got a breakthrough case of COVID. I actually got the delta variant, specifically. It made it’s way through my office with all of the people who were at one particular meeting.
For me, the anxiety of having it was worse than the actual sickness I deal with. That, I largely attribute to the fact that I am double vaccinated.
I am, to this day, dealing with the after-effects of COVID. I have a chest-infection that just won’t seem to go away. My body is achy all of the time. And, I’m overwhelmingly exhausted most days. I’ve been drinking too much caffeine to overcompensate for the exhaustion, which is leading to headaches.
Basically, I’m adjusting. It’s hard going places because when I start coughing under my mask, it scares people. Some people are nice about it, others are extremely rude. One individual shoved me out of the door of a business out of fear. It’s just hard. I know I’m not contagious, I’ve been assured of that from a doctor. But other people have no way of knowing that. And given everything going on in this province right now, everyone is stressed. Everyone has their guards up. Everyone is worried.
Our government seems to be under the impression that they are either, 1) not important and the public can govern themselves, or 2) it is more important to pander to people who believe vaccines are poison. Regardless, they seem to be taking a crash course in exactly the worst way to respond to a global pandemic.
I shouldn’t be surprised, really. They seem to be on the wrong side of every issue. They seem to treat the economy as a buzzword, and fail to recognize how everything in society is connected to the economy. You cannot just flip a switch and have everything go back to normal.