Canada, Quebec, Ontario discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio

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Little differently. Our guest proposes await do voice of experience as debate rages over the use of a malaria drug to fight. Kovac nineteen author Eden Robinson is sharing some hard earned. That drug can have some harrowing side effects when you coming home baby. Quebec father is anxiously waiting to meet his newborn because the hospital has barred new parents from coming in unless they're giving birth. If you build it for years customers at a Georgia restaurant have been stapling dollar bills to the walls. Now the restaurant's owner has painstakingly removed each one and donated the money to her out of work staff and off the beaten track. Many of us get angry when we're subjected to constantly blaring car horns with the guest tonight. Story from the archives decided to turn his rage into poetry and in the process he invented. Hongkou as it happens the Thursday edition radio. That guesses every rose. Has Its horn today. Justin Trudeau had a message for Canadians. Who are getting impatient for things to get back to normal. The prime minister was speaking. Shortly after federal health officials released the modeling. They're using to prepare for the different paths. The pandemic could take in the country. We're at a fork in the road. Between the best and the worst possible outcomes the best possible outcome is no easy path for any of us. The initial peak. The top of the curve may be in late spring with the end of the first wave in the summer as Dr. Tom explained there will likely be smaller outbreaks for number of months after that this will be the new normal until vaccine is developed but as we saw that is so much better than we could face all of us if we do not rise to the challenge of this generation. Prime Minister Trudeau is echoing the advice of Dr Teresa Tam. Today Canada's medical officer of Health told reporters that it will be some time before we can do without measures like hand washing social distancing and the mantra of Test Test Test but Dr Tannock knowledge that one province Ontario has fallen behind when it comes to testing. Andre Picard is the health columnist at the Globe and Mail newspaper. We reached him in Montreal. Andrey we learned today about best case and worst case scenarios for Canada. What role would better testing play in improving our odds well? Testing is really important because it will give us a sense of how many people have been infected and what the attack rate is so the attack rate is how many people actually get sick and we don't know that now we know who's gotten sick but we don't have an idea of how many people could get sick in the future. Why don't we know that? Why don't we have better testing? Because we've had a shortage of tests for a bit and now we've just been sort of slow and it depends on the province so being Canada things are different from one jurisdiction to the next so some jurisdictions like Alberta have been great with testing some Mike Ontario. Have been terrible for reasons. We don't fully understand what and this has been a big criticism because we heard at the beginning from Ontario. That was on top of this With this was not going to be another SARS and yet we heard the premier yesterday saying he said there's no excuse for how better testing what what are we to make of that. Well his frustration. I think is justified. They said he wants to province doing thirteen thousand tests today. They're only doing the two thousand twenty five hundred now and it's it's not clear why anymore I. It was the lack of reagents so the chemicals in Brazil lack of Swab Risk. Some technical issues. But now it's not clear. What what the reason is a has a very bureaucratic public health system as a lot of people in charge of different things and if you contrast it's eight to DC BC has been praised for the way it's handled this very clear. There's one person in charge in. It's one person. Running the show in interior has five or six people doing different things. I think it's a it's a technical issue. It's a structural issue but people in Ontario. Be Forgiven yesterday. When they heard the premier say that and saying that they're only doing three thousand tests well having the capacity as he said to thirteen thousand tests per day. 'cause they'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe he has some responsibility for world premiere as the boss ultimately but I don't think he can go in the labs and do it so I think he's been giving his blurb you don't get stuff done and I think he. He reached the end of his rope because again. It's not really clear why things aren't being done. There's not really any excuse for it anymore. We did have better testing. We've seen places countries and districts that have done extensive testing and they seem to be places had the best results for the lowest numbers of cases and deaths. What what is it possible that Canada go to that right where you have? Everybody tested the way. Most people tested the way. They are in some places where it's possible you know we're not gonNA test every single person in the country but we can do much more extensive testing in Alberta Premier. Kenyon is the address. The other night said that they're going to really ramp up testing dramatically. So we're GonNa see what happens when Albert does does this and it's important because it'll tell us people who are in the community who are with had the virus or who have it now but aren't sick. Those are the people who are spreading elsewhere without us knowing so once you can surround them figure out who their contacts are. That's how you're really limit the spread and that's countries like South Korea is the big texture. And that's what they've done very effectively as find out who has this and stop them from spreading it to other people until you do that in to limit the number of people that each infected persons leads to issue continues to numbers. Continue to rise. We spoke with Dr Last night. Who said that he had He is taking his lawn care home. A long long term care facilities for people coming in and he's taking more patients he's trying he's done swabs. He's tried to get them tested. They said. No No. We're not going to test those people. Can you appreciate how frustrated some of these facilities must be where there really are the frontlines these these nursing homes for for this disease? Well it is really really frustrating for the long term care homes. We know what they're at the highest risk of any part of society. We know that half the deaths in Canada have happened in long term care homes. There's really no reason that every single person in care should not be tested immediately and again Quebec said. It's going to do it on Kiro promising to do it. Alberta's doing it at B. C. Is doing it so it is starting to happen but it should have happened sooner. You have had a front row seat on this. You have studied and watched and written and considered just about everything about this pandemic. What could do better what do you what do you think what. What Kinda Group of a mark would you give our performance at this point where I think we're sort of a middle of the pack? We could have acted sooner were. We're not very organized as different reactions in different parts of the country. So it's hard to give an overall mark. A different places have done better on on certain things and again we have. I think a real penchant for incremental ISM in Canada. So we've brought in this these rules but it's not really clear what the rules are at any given place because they changed so marginally from day to day. I think we really have to have some structure and say listen. These are the rules. This is what social distancing we'd have to do if we're going to get this bring this number down. This is how we're GONNA test and we have pretty well do not exactly the same everywhere but have some consistency in our or approach and again if you look at the countries that have done well. It's really clear. Lines of communication really clear actions on testing Really tracking down people who are infected in their contacts really relentlessly using things like cell phone contacts Alberta said. It's going to do that too but this is stuff we could have done much sooner. Sorta were a little bit slow all the time a little too cautious for good. You are in Quebec tonight. Despite all the testing the numbers show that Quebec has far more cases. So what do you tell us about that? Well I think Quebec had sort of a head start on this as part of a great part of it is just bad luck at a much earlier. Marc break People from Quebec love to go to Florida one of the hot spots in the US. We brought back a lot to disease to Quebec very early. And it's still that's still being reflected in the numbers now. The flip side of that are beck was one of the first Chatri crackdown to have public health measures. And I think what we're going to see probably the first province to peak so you have to get to the peak. You have to get to the worst before you can get better. And they're predicting that's gonNA come in the next couple of leaks in numbers and start to fall. So that's that's the upside. It's not too bright of upside because it's meeting thousands and thousands more cases that there's some light at the end of the tunnel as the premier said all right. We'll be following your work and thank you for what you're writing in what you're telling us about this disease and and thank you for coming on the show thank you. Andre Picard is the health columnist at the Globe and Mail newspaper. He spoke to us from Montreal.

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