Quebec, Canada, Ontario discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio
How to improve that progresses dynamic do over as the pandemic stretches on. There may come a time when we need to distance a little differently. Our guest proposes a way to do that. Voice of experience as debate rages over the use of a malaria drug to fight. Kovac nineteen author Eden Robinson. This sharing some hard earned knowledge 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 remove 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 for 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 guests 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. Tam explained there will likely be smaller outbreaks for number of months after that this will be the new normal until the 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 handwashing social distancing and the mantra of test test test but dr. Tam acknowledged that one province Ontario has fallen behind when it comes to testing. Andre Picard is the health columnist at the Global Mail newspaper. We reached him in Montreal. And maybe learned today about best case in worst case scenarios for Canada. What role with 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. What the attack rate is 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 well? Because we've had a shortage of tests for a bit and now we've just been sort of slow and it really depends on the providence. So being Canada things are very different from one jurisdiction to the next so some jurisdictions like alburto have been great with testing some lake. Ontario. Have 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's there's no excuse for how bad are testing. What do 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 at first it was the lack of reagents so the chemicals and relax swabs so there's some technical issues but now it's not clear. What what the reason is attorney 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 is very clear. There's one person in charge in. It's one person. Running the show with a terrier has five or six people doing different things. I think it's a it's a technical issue. It's a structural issue but could people in Ontario be forgiven yesterday when they heard their premier. Say That Saying that they're only doing three thousand tests well having the capacity as he said to do thirteen thousand tests per day. 'cause they'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe that he has some responsibility for we'll there's a premier is the boss ultimately. I don't think he can go in the labs and do it. So I think he's been giving his blurb you know get stuff done and I think. 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. Whatever we did have better testing. We seen places countries and districts that have done extensive testing and they seem to be places that have had the best results with the lowest numbers of cases and deaths. What what is it possible that Canada could go to that right where you have. Everybody tested the way. Most people tested the way they are in some places. Or 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 a premier. Kenyon is the address. The other night said that they're going to really ramp up testing dramatically. So we're going to see what happens when Albert does does this. It's important because it'll tell people who are in the community who are with had the virus or who have it now but aren't sick and 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 limited to spread. And that's countries like South Korea is the big tester. And that's what they've done very effectively as find out. Who has this and then stop them from spreading it to other people until you do that until you limit. The number of people to each infected persons Fred's to each continues. The numbers continue to rise. We spoke with adopter last night. Who said that he He is taking his lawn. Care home. A long long term care facilities for People coming in and he's taking in more patients he's trying he's done swabs he's trying to get them to us today. It 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. The Long Term Care Homes. We know there at the highest risk of any part of society. We know that has two 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 GonNa do it Ontario promising to do it Alberta's doing it at B. C. Is doing it so it's starting to happen but it should have happened sooner. You have had a front row seat on this. You have studied in watched and written and considered just about everything about this pandemic. What could do better? What do you? What do you think what? What kind of group of a mark would you give our performance at this point where I think we're sort of middle of the pack? We could have acted sooner were. We're not very organized. There's different reactions in different parts of the country so it's hard to give an overall mark at different places have done better on on certain things and again we have. I think a real pension 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 have to do. If we're going to get this you know. Bring this number down. This is how we're GONNA test and we have to pretty well do not exactly the same everywhere but have some consistency in our our 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 contact 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 our own 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 bad luck. Quebec had a much earlier. Marc break People from Quebec. You don't love to go to Florida one of the hot spots in the. Us Re brought back a lot of disease to Quebec very early. And it's still that's still being reflected in the numbers now. The flip side of that are Quebec. Was One of the first. Chatri crackdown to have public health measures. And I think what we're going to see have probably the first province to peak so we have to get to the gift to get to the worst before you can get better and they're predicting us gonNA come in the next couple of weeks and then numbers can start to fall. So that's that's the upside. It's not too great of upside because it's meeting thousands and thousands more cases but there's some light at the end of the tunnel is the premier said. All right we'll be following your work and thank you for what you're writing and 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.