The No. 1 motivator, we were told, for the lockdown after the COVID–19 scare, was to flatten the curve, ensure that hospitals were not overrun.
As it turns out, at the height of the unknowns, when winter traffic was ramping up and there were no restrictions on travel or no social distancing, there were only 11 admissions to hospitals in the Eastern Health region and four patients who required ICU.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, we discovered we were the most vulnerable at funerals.
It made perfect sense.
What do we do at funerals? We hug and console, we snot and bawl, we whisper closely cause you are not supposed to talk about the dead.
We all certainly grab the same pen and sign our names to the book of condolences.
Ironically, when the rest of Canada was reeling from possible improper care at senior care homes, Newfoundland and Labrador was spared significantly. Why? Turns out we may care for our seniors.
I kept expecting to hear about some bar or restaurant that was going to get lambasted, after all bars and restaurants are where we socialize. Perhaps a dinner party at some one’s home?
No, nothing from any of those scenarios. Is Newfoundland and Labrador different?
Well yes, we are an island or a division of a land mass that has a limited number of ways in. Is that why we were able to contain the spread of the virus so effectively and efficiently? Who else should get the credit for our massive and rapid response? Politicians who seemed to look to Infectious Control officials? Infectious control officials who seemed to look at models for guidance?
I contend that a vast number of people in Newfoundland and Labrador took world news and the news from local funerals to heart, all of it laid out in prime time before us.
So how are we supposed to carry on?
This is a question I want answered with more specifics, unfortunately, I am not sure who I can ask? Premier Dwight Ball is only allowing positive comments on his Facebook page. My personal reply to him posted before the Victoria Day long weekend magically disappeared.
Upon closer examination I noticed that all of the comments and timelines had been rearranged allowing no dissension.
That can’t be true, I thought ... thus my letter to the editor of The Telegram now.
More specifically, I want to know the answers to these questions: what are the models to which the infectious control officials keep referring? I want to know more about them.
Where do they come from? How do they apply to Newfoundland and Labrador specifically?
I want to understand, when we plug in an infection rate of .00047 per cent (260 confirmed cases divided by 550,000, population of the province) and a mobility rate of .00000545 per cent (number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 compared to population of Newfoundland and Labrador), how they come up with a path forward?
Then, comparatively, how does that stack up against the 5,000 hospital procedures that have been postponed? I cannot imagine the same roll out post-COVID-19 if Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York or Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, had the numbers similar to Newfoundland and Labrador.
We should be leading the country with our situation. We should monitor people coming into the province. We should keep protecting the vulnerable. Then the rest of us should be allowed to get on with our lives.
We know how to self-isolate, we know how to wear masks and we know how to have groceries delivered, if we do not want to go out in public.
Otherwise, show me the evidence.
Dr. Linda Goodyear