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COVID-19

School in the time of COVID. A parent perspective

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This post is from a parent in Red Deer.  He gave his permission to post this on Todayville and added “we haven’t talked to the teachers about any of this yet. These were the accounts our kids had and the anxiety the felt after that first day.”

Am I the only parent heart broken for our children?

Despite our two youngest girls having an “ok” first day of school, some of the stories all three shared were downright disturbing and saddening.
Picking up (our youngest), she was happy and bubbly, maybe just relieved the first day was over. Listening to her explain the “new normal” school rules was sad for sure. Probably more for the dad listening but unable to change how she was, in order to talk to a friend or anyone even in her class, required to wear her mask. Ok, fine…it’s what society has deemed a necessary inconvenience. Then, at lunch, she was told to keep their eyes down on their lunch and if they were to talk to a friend keep looking downward at the lunch table to speak, don’t look at your friend. She definitely did not enjoy wearing the mask but all and all she did ok.
(Our middle child), for the most part, had a great day. Just happy to be back in a social setting and willing to do whatever it takes. Her stories were different only to the fact that one teacher allowed them to remove their masks a bit more than the other, still tons of new rules, but she was still happy to be there learning.
(Our oldest) and her age group is where I start to get really concerned. Her day sounded more like a “break your will” first day of prison than covid precautions. She said her class was not allowed to remove their masks in class, even when seated separately facing forward. There was an expectation of no talking what so ever and their lunch was to be eaten in silence. She was so uncomfortable and awkward that we found her lunch had not been touched. The kid chose not to eat out of embarrassment. Apparently at recess, when the kids could finally take off their mask and were so excited to see their friends they’ve been missing, the school yard warden gave them shit for talking several times and deemed they weren’t “distancing” enough. They were then forced to wear their masks for the rest of recess.
I didn’t get as many details as (my wife) maybe, but what I heard broke my heart for all kids trying to have a life right now. Some of these little inconveniences seem to be more about obedience than safety and I just can’t see it working.
For the record, I am not ragging on teachers or school admin for trying to comply with what has to be an impossible to navigate policy. Nor am I trying to down play the fear and anxiety some parents have over just sending their kid to school. But, how long can this last? Will there be a sharp increase of high school kids dropping out to avoid the control? It just feels like to me, despite all good intention, our kid’s spirit and individuality will suffer the most.

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COVID-19

WHO member states agree to develop legally-binding pandemic treaty

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Article submitted by The Counter Signal

By MIKE CAMPBELL

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that member states inched closer to developing a legally binding global pandemic treaty.

WHO member states agree to develop legally-binding pandemic treaty.

“I welcome the agreement by @WHO Member States to develop a zero draft of a legally binding #PandemicAccord designed to protect the world from future pandemics and to continue discussions on the draft in February 2023,” said WHO CEO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The development follows a third meeting from WHO member states to develop a global pandemic treaty. The first meeting was in December 2021, and the second was in March 2022.

It’s unclear how the WHO’s pandemic treaty will affect its 194 member states, including Canada.

The WHO states the global pandemic treaty will determine future pandemic requirements for individual countries, such as lockdowns, and that these requirements will be “legally binding.”

The WHO says the treaty will be a “legal instrument, rooted in the WHO Constitution, designed to protect the world from future pandemics.”

Article 21 of the WHO’s constitution states the WHO has “authority to adopt regulations concerning (a) sanitary and quarantine requirements and other procedures designed to prevent the international spread of disease.”

“Other procedures” presumably include global vaccine passports, which member states have already supported.

However, the WHO also claims the pandemic treaty will “respect sovereignty.”

The draft that resulted from this third meeting includes a provision that reads:

“States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to determine and manage their approach to public health, notably pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems pursuant to their own policies and legislation provided that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to other States and their peoples.”

Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis has been outspoken regarding the potential impact a global pandemic treaty could have on Canadians.

In April, she said the treaty would allow the WHO to determine what a pandemic is and when one is occurring — even over something non-viral like an obesity crisis.

Earlier this year, the WHO and the German health minister said that countries disobeying regulations dictated by the WHO through their pandemic treaty might need to be sanctioned.

The Counter Signal contacted the WHO for comment but did not receive a response by publication.

Sign Our Petition Against The Treaty HERE

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Alberta

Two deputy chief medical officers resign from their positions with Alberta Health

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Edmonton – Alberta’s two deputy chief medical officers of health are leaving their roles — less than a month after Dr. Deena Hinshaw was removed as the province’s top doctor.

Health Minister Jason Copping confirmed during question period Wednesday that both of the doctors have submitted letters of resignation.

“They are still continuing to work at this point in time,” he said in the legislature. “We are in the process of actually looking to fill those roles.”

A statement from Alberta Health said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra and Dr. Jing Hu, who are listed as public health physicians on the department’s website, have given notice.

When reached by her department email, Salvaterra responded: “Unfortunately, we are not able to comment.”

She later added that she respects and admires both Dr. Hinshaw and Dr. Hu.

“They are brilliant, hard-working, and compassionate public health physicians and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside them for these past 14 months.”

Salvaterra, who has extensive public health experience including as the medical officer of health for Peterborough, Ont., joined the office in October 2021.

Her career in public health includes work in “the COVID-19 response, mental health, the opioid response, women’s health, poverty reduction, health equity, community food security and building stronger relationships with First Nations.”

Hu’s out-of-office message said her “last day at work with Alberta Health was Nov. 18, 2022,” and noted she wouldn’t have access to the department email after that date.

She got extensive training in China and at the University of Calgary before joining the health department in January 2020.

Their resignations came within a month of Hinshaw, who became the face of Alberta’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, being removed from her position.

Hinshaw was replaced by Dr. Mark Joffe, a senior executive member of Alberta Health Services, on an interim basis.

“Dr. Joffe will be supported by medical officers of health within AHS, by other staff in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and by the Public Health Division,” said the statement from Alberta Health late Wednesday.

“We expect these changes to have no impact on the department’s and Dr. Joffe’s ability to meet the requirements of the Public Health Act.”

Hinshaw’s dismissal didn’t come as a surprise.

Premier Danielle Smith announced on her first day in office in October that she would be replaced.

Smith has made it clear that she blames both Hinshaw and Alberta Health Services for failing to deliver the best advice and care for Albertans as the hospital system came close to buckling in successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of the bad decisions were made by Alberta Health Services on the basis of bad advice from the chief medical officer of health,” Smith told reporters on Oct. 22.

Smith has not placed the blame on front-line doctors and nurses but broadly on AHS senior management. Joffe, while serving as chief medical officer of health, retains his role in AHS senior management as a vice-president responsible for areas in cancer and clinical care.

Hinshaw, an Alberta-trained public health specialist, became a celebrity of sorts in the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, as she delivered regular, sometimes daily, updates to Albertans on the virus, its spread and methods to contain it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

— By Colette Derworiz in Calgary.

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