Right in the centre - Results seem to take forever


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

The National Nursing Week (May 10 to 16, 2021) annual celebrations take place from the Monday to the Sunday of the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12. The theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by CNA to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey.

I can back nurses a long way. Having had four hospital stays and having been in the emergency room three other times since Nov. 27, I can attest to the huge dedication and skill level of nurses.

I have read recently that Manitoba nurses have been without a wage agreement with the Province of Manitoba for four years. If that is the case, the government and the unions better get their act together, as four years without a wage contract is just not a good situation. I am sure the unions have a position and so does the province. Both sides are capable of spin doctoring, but enough is enough already. Get the agreement done sooner rather than later.

Last week’s column received a number of responses. Only one, so far disagreed with parts of it. I made the statement in the column that, “It can easily be assumed that more than one or two people a day are dying from the side effects of the C-19 lockdown.” A reader questioned that statement asking where were my statistics to back it up. One source is that there were many more drug overdose deaths in 2020 than in 2019.  I feel that increase is connected in part to frustration over C-19, but I could be wrong. I do know of many cases in a care homes where residents have just given up from loneliness and despair. I don’t know if suicide numbers are up or not, but there seems to be a large number and mental health experts are certainly speaking and writing about the problem. But, no, I don’t have stats to prove what I stated. Sometimes you have to go on anecdotal evidence.

I also said, “The irony of the vaccine is that the best vaccines guarantee around 97 per cent protection. That’s three per cent chance you will get C-19 even if you are vaccinated. That’s interesting as only three per cent of the population have gotten C-19 in 15 months of pandemic anyway.” I have said that many times, but a wise person told me this past Monday that three per cent got C-19, but we have to figure in the idea that not everyone has been exposed, so I feel that argument certainly has merit. A large number of people have likely not been exposed to C-19 so the infection rate may well be much higher than if everyone was exposed to the virus.

The province has taken extra steps recently. With the variant strains coming along, the government had to do something, BUT in three weeks, there better be results and there better be compensation (again) for the businesses that have had to close. (Some business assistance was announced on May 10). The lack of vaccinations excuse should be almost gone in three weeks. I am not all that happy getting a vaccine. Even still, Christine and I are booked to get our shot. It’s not so much for us, but to protect others, such as our staff, family and neighbours. All that said, if Manitoba gets the desired results in three weeks– fine. If not, then all bets are off and a totally new strategy will have to come in. We were supposed to flatten the curve in two weeks. It’s been 16 months. If it doesn’t come to a good result in the next three weeks, then we will know for sure what we have long suspected and that is that governments efforts across Canada were guesswork.

Hopefully, we will get through this soon.