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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 04, 2021 02:35PM

Alberta is one of the prairie provinces in Western Canada. Their COVID situation is so dire now that Armed Forces nurses and Red Cross personnel are being sent in to support overwhelmed staff, over-full ICUs and huge long wait lists.

“September was arguably Alberta's worst month of the COVID-19 pandemic, provincial data suggests.

“More Albertans tested positive for COVID-19 than in any month prior, and records for hospital and ICU admissions were set. Deaths in September also spiked, making it the deadliest month since January 2021.

“Driving this situation was the infectious delta variant, insufficient public health measures, delayed government action and low vaccination rates, said Craig Jenne, an associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Calgary.

"When we backed off restrictions, the virus was able to exploit that and really move quite quickly through the unvaccinated," said Jenne, referring to the lifting of restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, capacity limits and masks.

“Alberta reported 45,665 COVID-19 cases last month, accounting for more than 15 per cent of all known cases in the province since the pandemic began.

“The most deaths in a single month were 736 in December, which recorded a similar number of new cases to September.

“Jenne said the efficacy of vaccines made the difference in the lower number of deaths.

"In areas without vaccine coverage, this delta variant is really causing havoc. And tragically, we're losing lives at a rate that's extremely disturbing over the last couple of weeks here in Alberta."

On Sept. 15, as active cases reached 18,641, [Premier] Kenney declared a public health emergency, introduced multiple public health measures, announced a proof of vaccination program and apologized for the government's handling of the fourth wave [his “we’re open for summer” approach which led to the current crisis in health care due to rampant spread of the virus and variants].

“As of Sept. 30, 74.5 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and up have received two doses of vaccine; 83.8 per cent have received one jab.”

I note that 74.5% may sound OK but with COVID-19 and its variants the experts are saying a much higher % of population needs to be vaxxed for the good of all (as with other highly communicable and potentially severe diseases such as measles).

Article con't:

“Jenne suggests the key is for more Albertans to get vaccinated. In the short term, he said, they should consider being more cautious than the public health measures require, because those measures "are the bare minimum."

Pretty poor report card for the Alberta government, that even in the midst of a major and deadly fourth wave their public health measures are still just “the bare minimum”. If the provincial government would acknowledge they need much more help, more resources from the federal government could kick in. It will be interesting to see what the fallout is for this recalcitrant premier. Most unfortunately though, that involves more people dying needlessly as he waits and waits and waits and ...

Here’s another article about the situation:

“Critical care nurses are set to arrive in Alberta on Monday — reinforcements sent by the Canadian military in an effort to help the province’s drowning medical system.

“The Canadian Red Cross is planning to provide up to 20 medical professionals with “some intensive care unit experience” to augment or relieve existing staff working in Alberta hospitals.

“These contributions may help us to staff four or five additional ICU beds,” the premier said, noting that every little bit helps.

“Dr. Darren Markland, an intensive care physician, said this move does not address the problem of hospitals being overrun and surgeries being an “afterthought.”

“Danielle Larivee with the United Nurses of Alberta said though she can’t give enough thanks to those coming to assist on the front lines, the reality is that there would need to be hundreds of nurses sent to the front lines to make a difference.

“It’s very welcome, but it’s not enough. We need to stop the flood of ill people into the hospitals,” Larivee said. “Our health-care system is actively collapsing.”

“Short term, this is appreciated. In the long term, we don’t see an end to this with the way it is now. We need to stop community spread,” Larivee said.”

Meanwhile, there’s a mom in Alberta with a young son needing emergency surgery for a severe seizure disorder. His meds will only partially help for a short period of time. His surgery is on hold because COVID patients are filling up the hospitals. There’s not enough space and too few physicians to care for all the other patients. There are also not enough nurses to care for post-surgical patients.

How can people still deny the reality or severity of the COVID pandemic, I wonder, when situations like this arise. Are the armed forces complicit in a fraud? The Red Cross? All the medical staff in the province? So very highly unlikely as to be a ludicrous idea.

One can only hope the day of reckoning will arrive when those most responsible are held accountable. Meanwhile, that doesn’t help the suffering people, including kids.

The mom with the young son says “It [the situation] makes us really sad. I would have hoped that people in our community would have stepped up and realized that this isn’t just about them, it’s about our community as a whole. It’s not just about the individual but together we have a responsibility to uphold, to each other and to our community. I challenge people to step outside that mindset that it’s about me and about my rights to it is my responsibility to help our community and to help all the people in our community so that people who need therapy can receive it. I urge people to make a choice that is going to benefit all of us.”

Again, the spectre is raised of medical staff having to triage, choosing who gets the care they need and who has to wait. It’s definitely turning into a seriously challenging issue: which patients with which conditions get priority care and who has to wait, with potentially dire outcomes.

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Posted by: Josephs Myth ( )
Date: October 04, 2021 02:44PM

You should see the current devastating effects hitting hard on aboriginal tribes..

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 03:43PM

This is a very sad story out of Saskatchewan today:

"Jennifer Rosebluff-Thomas is being remembered by her sister as a beautiful, vibrant woman who lived for her children until she died of COVID-19 in an Edmonton ICU in early September.

"Rosebluff-Thomas, 35, was from Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation, just northeast of Regina... She was 29 weeks pregnant ... when she contracted the delta variant of the coronavirus in late August.

"She wasn't vaccinated.

"Pregnant women who get COVID-19 are five times more likely to require hospitalization than the average person, and 10 times more likely to need intensive care, according to data compiled by the Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy team.

"Dr. Stephanie Cooper, a high-risk obstetrician at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, said more than 20 pregnant women with serious and critical COVID-19 were admitted to hospital in Alberta in August and September. All of them were unvaccinated.

"She [pregnant woman's sister] urged her sister to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, she's both grief stricken by her sister's death and devastated to learn her death was "preventable."


Preventable as in this woman wasn't vaccinated. If she had been, her kids would still have their mom, including the new little one. From the article it sounds like the children will be split up now, in addition to losing their mom. It states that the older sister can take only some of the children to care for.

Some lessons you learn too late. Perhaps other people's sorrow will prompt those who are still wavering to go and get vaccinated, the best chance we have of staying out of the crowded ICUs. I wouldn't choose to take my chances on a ventilator in preference to just getting the jab.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 05:28PM

Josephs Myth Wrote:
> You should see the current devastating effects
> hitting hard on aboriginal tribes..

And it's not only the pandemic.

News today about an Aboriginal woman who died in hospital of a blood clot (unrelated to Covid). Staff had concluded that she was addicted to drugs and treated her as if she were in withdrawal, complete with being in isolation and restrained in her bed. (I have significant claustrophobia. If this happened to me I'd lose my mind - no exaggeration. Of course, self-fulfilling prophecy as the more I reacted the more they would clamp down, to my great detriment). Staff also labelled her as a difficult, violent patient which also colours how they view and treat a patient. There is no evidence, at all, that any of these labels are true. To the contrary, they decidedly are not.

Rather than being monitored she was left isolated and restrained with only a nursing student around. I would question the student's education and/or suitability as even when the patient stopped breathing (from pulmonary edema caused by the clot) the student didn't recognize that she was in severe distress and ultimately was deceased. A casual passerby on the street with no medical training can usually discern that a person isn't breathing so I wonder what was truly going on there.

The patient herself, before the isolation/restraint episode, had managed to video some of the interactions with staff. Ultimately, a nurse and an orderly were both fired for their abusive treatment of her.

The coroner stated today that with treatment this patient could have survived (she was only 37 yrs old and had an eminently treatable condition).

Further, the coroner said that if the patient had been White she would still be alive.

Shocking conclusion.

Terrible revelations.

Not as unusual as you would hope.

The husband of the deceased woman, Joyce Echaquan, had the generosity and pure grace to say through his tears after the inquest that there were staff members who rendered good care to his wife and he named them.

Too bad they weren't in charge of her care so this could have been avoided.

I remember an Aboriginal MD who presented a workshop in some training I took once. He discussed the racist stereotyping of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. "My people do not have defective genes" he said. I'll never forget the poignancy of that. And the wake-up call.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2021 05:30PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: October 04, 2021 05:30PM

It's now a Pandemic Of The Stubborn And Willfully Ignorant.

Thanks to modern scientific research, the groundwork for a successful vaccine was laid years ago and a vaccine was developed relatively quickly.

We should be out this by now, but, as I said before, you can lead a person to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

We're not dealing for the most part with people who were lied to and used for experimental purposes like African Americans in the infamous Tuskeegee Experiment.

We're dealing with people who *prefer* living in an artifical reality of conspiracy theories and lies.


They'd rather die to prove their loyalty to the cult or the tribe rather than get vaccinated and live.

We now have to protect ourselves from them.

If they won't get vaccinated, then they have to submit to testing to protect the rest of us from infection.

Innocent people shoudn't have to suffer just so they can keep on living in fantasyland.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2021 06:25PM by anybody.

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 04:27PM

My daughter in law, an RN reports that their small city ER near Edmonton was overflowing and STARS (our air ambulance service) had made 6 trips to Edmonton, flying critically ill Covid patients to Edmonton hospitals....and people are still refusing the vaccine.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 05:10PM

I see NB is clamping down now, ahead of Thanksgiving, restricting numbers of people who can gather together, and where. The Premier said they want to "get out of ahead of it".

What a concept.

"The delta variant has created a new norm" he said, for example, needing a much higher % of the population to be vaccinated to stop overwhelming spread.

They have to look at their resources and see how stress they can withstand.

This is how most professionals addressed the situation in the first place. Then all the noise happened and we are where we are.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2021 05:12PM by Nightingale.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 05:50PM

I have not a single word of wisdom, but I certainly do care about what our northern neighbors are dealing with right now.

The unnecessary deaths: I am so sorry for those who died, for those who loved them, and for those (especially the children and adolescents) left behind.

Down here, there are historical horror stories about what really happened during our Civil War in the mid-1860s. So far as deaths and suffering go, this pandemic feels much the same.

I wish all of us the very best outcomes possible, and an ending to this pandemic which comes ASAP.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 07:33PM

in COVID denial.

This article is about the US South, but I'd bet this would apply to some parts of the western Canadian provinces as well.

On Monday, David Leonhardt’s morning newsletter for the New York Times introduced a grim new term into our pandemic vocabularies: “Red COVID.” The partisan gap in the effects of the pandemic, the newsletter explained, had widened. “Every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state,” Leonhardt wrote. Some of the red dots on the Times’ chart of states with low vaccination rates are not in the South—Wyoming, for example. But most of them are: Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi. After a late summer and early fall where the delta variant hit the former Confederacy hard, generating awful news stories from hospitals in Mississippi and Florida, it seems like “Red COVID” is also, mostly, “Southern COVID.”

In light of this, a thought experiment by Angie Maxwell, a professor of political science and director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas, has been on my mind. In her book The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness, Maxwell, through a provocative analysis of Southern history and psychology, explores the idea that the white South has a collective “inferiority complex” that explains its very specific tendency toward backlash.

All of that, the intense scrutiny and the extreme circumstances, basically resulted in a movement for private religious education. There was an organization that decided they wanted to create a memorial to William Jennings Bryan, and they built a private Christian university called William Jennings Bryan College, in Dayton. It opened its doors five years later, in 1930, and took off, became a model for private Christian higher education. The anti-evolution movement was no longer about majoritarianism, winning the passage of legislation to ban the teaching of evolution in public schools; it became about creating an entirely separate world of private higher education.

And that’s an example of what can happen when you’re deemed inferior, and you recognize it. This is about the desire to retreat from the public battle, into kind of a private space where you can do whatever you want to do. We see that pattern, also, right after Brown v. Board: just privatize, so you won’t be judged.

OK, we went all the way back in time, and now let’s come back forward to COVID. The delta variant has hit the South, and the rest of “red America,” a lot harder than other places. Do you think the South’s relative refusal to vaccinate, while the criticism from blue states and the North has gotten incredibly intense, can fit into the pattern you’ve identified: Northern criticism, Southern retrenchment?

People have been talking a lot about partisanship in vaccine resistance. But there are 60 percent of Republicans that have been vaccinated, right? Not 10 percent! 60 percent! So it’s not just partisanship. There are demographic reasons why groups are resistant to the vaccine, but I think there are also historical and kind of cosmological reasons that account for why most of the states with the lowest vaccination rate seem to be falling—well, the majority of them—below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Lower incomes, lower education levels are unvaccinated at higher rates. Those things are true in the South, and the circumstances fit, but in the South there is also the historical lack of access to health care, because a lot of the South is rural and poor. There’s a lack of access to doctors, a lack of health insurance, a lack of a concept of preventive health care. All of those numbers lag in the South. Look at how the population of older folks in the South who’ve gotten the vaccine is much higher. Part of that is because elderly people are dying at higher rates; it’s also because they have Medicare and have regular doctors.

The other thing is a strong belief in prayer—God will protect, you’re going to die from something, the rewards of heaven are not to be feared. Then of course there’s just plain racism and othering of other races and ethnicities, because for a while when COVID started, there was such a significantly higher death rate and hospitalization rate for nonwhite people, and in blue states. The initial notion was, This just isn’t as hard on white people and doesn’t exist in red states.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: October 05, 2021 08:42PM

A BC friend sent this link about the power the province has to combat the virus.

A quick check shows that several of the Canadian Provinces have also issued such an order.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 07, 2021 08:16PM

Emergency in the Northwest Territories:

“Capacity in the intensive care unit at the Northwest Territories' main hospital is being pushed to the limit by an influx of COVID-19 patients.

“When asked about Stanton Territorial Hospital's capacity on Monday, N.W.T. Health Minister Julie Green told CBC News that the hospital's six ICU beds "have been taken up by people who are sick with COVID."

“With 1,190 cases since mid-August, and dozens of new cases emerging each day, the Northwest Territories is in the throes of its worst outbreak of COVID-19 yet. The N.W.T. currently has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country — more than 1.5 times the rate of Alberta, which has the second highest.

“As of Tuesday, the recent outbreak had seen 36 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, 13 N.W.T. COVID-19 patients have wound up in the ICU and six have died.

“On Sept. 22, the health authority alerted the public to oxygen supply issues at Stanton Territorial Hospital. A news release three days later said the problem hadn't affected the hospital's ability to care for COVID-19 patients, but it had delayed "certain procedures or appointments."

“So far, said Green, N.W.T. hasn't had to medevac COVID-19 patients to Alberta during this outbreak, a small relief given that Alberta's health care system has been pushed toward the limit, largely COVID-19 patients who aren't fully vaccinated.

“Green also noted that all of the people in N.W.T. who have died from COVID-19 have been Indigenous. They come from different communities and range in age, she said.

“Some were elders — knowledge keepers, said Green.

"It really is sad," she said. "We know how much people value the knowledge keepers in the N.W.T., and to lose them to this disease is really heartbreaking."


The N.W.T. numbers can seem low, certainly compared to other areas, but a full ICU is a full ICU. And an insufficient oxygen supply is calamitous. To hear that N.W.T. has had to request federal help to beef up their O2 is stunning. I’ve never heard of such a thing in my life.

In other provinces:

Commentator re Alberta: “We need to care more about health care than about politics.” I’d say so, given Alberta’s slot as second in case severity only to the N.W.T. in all of Canada.

Saskatchewan has just transferred management of the pandemic from the government to emergency operations centre. This also alleviates some of the burden from the health care professionals (and de-politicizes it).

It’s Thanksgiving weekend coming up in Canada. Here in BC they’ve implemented stricter guidelines/mandates again (such as a low limit of outside people (guests) congregating in a household). It’s time to hold the line, not to incautiously gather.

I hope everybody out there can stay safe. We can always do turkey next year. (Hopefully!)

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: October 08, 2021 11:52AM

First, you don't have to explain what Alberta is. We know!

Second, Alberta is Canada's Texas, so I wouldn't expect any better from them.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: October 10, 2021 01:02AM

Utah today (Saturday) announced that their ICU wards are at 98% of staffable capacity and they are postponing surgeries where an ICU bed is typically used for a day or two during recovery from surgery, which is pretty common for major operations, so the patient can be closely monitored right after surgery. So if you need major surgery, you’re kind of screwed.

Covid cases are dropping in a lot of states, but Utah still seems to be cranking them out. Mormonism trained Utahns well on how to be willfully ignorant of facts.

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