Dispatch from the Front Line: Kill supply management or FOAD
How not to get brainworms. Missing Deena Hinshaw. And, since when did the federal Liberal caucus decide to start imitating Doug Ford's most junior staffers?
Hello, Line readers. Hope you’re having a great weekend. A few items that might make it even better? First, as we announced on Friday, we are finally punching up our podcast and YouTube offerings. We hope that’ll be good to go by Friday — but we might need one more week to iron out the bugs. Never fear, though. It’s happening!
Also, you know what else is happening? Our first in-person event! We’ll be announcing some more details shortly, but for now, save the date!
In the meantime, enjoy our latest video!
The podcast is here, too!
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As your Line editors sat to craft this missive, the Alberta government announced that six more daycares have been closed due to the horrific E.Coli outbreak now spreading across Calgary. These daycares were not served by the central kitchen still closed and under investigation; this wave of closures is believed to have been caused at least in part by secondary transmissions — that is, children or siblings who were infected in the original 11 daycares, and then re-enrolled in other facilities around the city. This is the sort of thing that, dare we note, might have been avoided if the provincial government’s political and medical leaders had been more assertive and communicative at the outset of the epidemic. Perhaps some could have been avoided by issuing clear public-health directives requiring kids at all these daycares stay home for a number of days; or by offering financial assistance to affected families right at the beginning. Instead, the government waited more than a week before deciding to hold a press conference to make such significant announcements.
The outbreak was declared on Sept. 4. It wasn’t until Sept. 12 that Health Minister Adriana LaGrange and CMOH Dr. Mark Joffe made a public fuss of what is rapidly shaping up to be one of the worst E.Coli outbreaks in Canadian history; during it, Joffe was asked where the hell he’d been. He responded: “At this point we felt it was prudent and appropriate for us to appear here and speak to Albertans and to answer your new questions … but we didn’t feel there was urgency to do that up until this point.”
Well, if the Chief Medical Officer of Health didn’t see merit of “urgency” one can hardly blame the parents who needed to re-enroll their kids in another daycare in order to get back to work.
It took an open letter from the parents of the sickest children, issued on Thursday, before our political leaders seemed to understand the “urgency” of addressing the public about hundreds of confirmed cases, most of them in young children. As of Friday, 12 remain in hospital and six are on dialysis. The prognosis at this point cannot possibly be known; but Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, the secondary illness related to E.Coli infection, often has the most serious and life-altering consequences, especially for children.
Premier Danielle Smith, LaGrange, and Dr. Joffe held another press conference on Friday, and they did better in round two, offering more information about the state of affairs, along with financial compensation for affected families. Dr. Joffe apologized for his demeanour from the previous appearance and Smith, for her part, was obviously deeply emotionally affected by situation. We do not doubt her sincerity.