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“I’m not scared of Covid-19.” The viral post from a Canadian Infectious Disease Specialist

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Infection Disease Expert

Facebook Post from Dr. Abdu Sharkawy has been shared over 1.3 million times!

I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis, TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria…there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ” probably don’t have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know…” and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games…that could be kyboshed too. Can you even
imagine?

I’m scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous.

Pandemic: We need to be smarter than China (and Italy)

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
Our children will thank us for it.

#washurhands #geturflushot #respect #patiencenotpanic

 

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Province adds travel prizes to boost vaccine numbers

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Supreme Court won't hear Westjet appeal

News release from The Province of Alberta

Travel prizes added to Open for Summer Lottery

Albertans who get fully vaccinated with two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine now have a chance to win vacation packages and other travel prizes from WestJet and Air Canada.

Along with three draws for $1 million each, Alberta’s Open for Summer Lottery will now offer an additional 40 travel-related prizes provided by WestJet and Air Canada. This includes week-long stays at all-inclusive luxury resorts and flights across Canada and abroad.

The WestJet and Air Canada packages will be included in the August lottery draw for people who receive both vaccine doses. To enter, you simply need to register online and have received a first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine before registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 24. Winners will be announced on Aug. 31.

The draws are open to all Albertans age 18 and older who register for the Open for Summer Lottery, providing yet another incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and another way to reward those who have already rolled up their sleeves.

“Alberta’s government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated so we can put this pandemic behind us. I would like to thank WestJet and Air Canada for providing yet another reason for eligible Albertans to get protected. In turn, we want Albertans to get their vaccines as soon as possible so we can fully open for summer and open for good.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“The Open for Summer Lottery is a once-in-a-lifetime response to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. While protection from COVID-19 is the greatest reward, we have dreamt long enough of getting back to activities we love. This is the perfect opportunity to make some of those travel dreams a reality while encouraging more Albertans to get vaccinated.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Vaccinations are our way out of this pandemic. With partners like WestJet and Air Canada, we’re ready to kick-start tourism in Alberta and start welcoming travellers from around the globe. As we begin to open our doors and welcome visitors back to explore the beauty and wonder of Alberta, our tourism industry will be a key part of our economic rebound.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery and the faster Canadians are vaccinated, the sooner we can restore jobs across our hard-hit travel and tourism sector. We’re proud that more than 350 WestJetters continue to support vaccination efforts across the country, including 132 furloughed WestJetters who have joined Alberta Health Services to take calls, manage vaccine appointments and answer questions about vaccination. As Alberta’s successful vaccination rollout continues, we look forward to stimulating recovery by once again reconnecting Canadians to their friends, family and loved ones from coast to coast.”

Andrew Gibbons, vice-president, WestJet

“We are pleased to support Alberta’s vaccination efforts to help conquer COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming Albertans on board Air Canada’s flights when returning to the activities that everybody misses, including travelling to reunite with friends and families, taking a long-awaited beach vacation, exploring more of what the world offers, and also bringing global visitors to Alberta for business and leisure.”

David Rheault, managing director, Government and Community Relations, Air Canada

WestJet prizes

  • One WestJet Vacation Package for two to Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort, including round-trip economy flights and a seven-night all-inclusive stay.
  • One voucher for two people to fly round trip, business class, anywhere in WestJet’s network.
  • 10 vouchers for two people to fly round trip, economy class, anywhere in Canada.
  • Three giveaways of 1,500 WestJet dollars.
  • Five giveaways of WestJet Rewards Gold Status.

Air Canada prizes

  • One Air Canada Vacation Package for two to Planet Hollywood Cancun, including round-trip economy flights and a seven-night all-inclusive stay.
  • One voucher for two people to fly round trip, business class, anywhere in Air Canada’s network.
  • 10 vouchers for two people to fly round trip, economy class, anywhere in Canada.
  • Three giveaways of 100,000 Aeroplan bonus points.
  • Five giveaways of Aeroplan 50K Status.

Get your shot and register today

Along with these prizes, Alberta’s government will hold three draws for $1 million each to incentivize Albertans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Any Alberta resident age 18-plus who has received a first dose of vaccine can now register to enter for the $1-million grand prize and additional travel prizes.
  • Two additional lotteries will follow in August and September to encourage Albertans to complete the vaccine series and receive their second dose. To win one of these additional $1-million prizes, Albertans must be 18 years or older and have received both doses.

To register for the lottery, including the travel prizes, visit alberta.ca/lottery. Only one entry is required to be eligible for all Open for Summer Lottery prizes.

To book your COVID-19 vaccine, visit alberta.ca/vaccine to find available appointments with AHS or participating pharmacies. Select locations across the province are offering first dose walk-in clinics.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan safely eases restrictions in three stages as vaccination targets are reached and hospitalizations decline.
  • Stage 3 will occur two weeks after 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of vaccine.
  • To be eligible for the lottery, you must:
    • Opt in by registering at alberta.ca/lottery.
    • Reside in Alberta at the time of entry and draw.
    • Be 18 years of age and older.
    • Be able to provide proof of receiving your first dose of an approved vaccine for the first draw, and both first and second doses for the second and third draws.
    • Please visit the website for a complete list of rules.
  • Any Albertan 18 or older who received approved vaccines out of province is also eligible, provided they have submitted proof of vaccination to AHS and meet all other eligibility criteria.
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Alberta

Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

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EDMONTON — Alberta is launching a multimillion-dollar lottery in a bid to encourage more residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Premier Jason Kenney unveiled some details of the “Open for Summer Vaccine Lottery” in a video posted to his Twitter account.

The video, shot at a mass immunization centre in Edmonton, shows Kenney lamenting the lack of crowds at the facility and opining that not enough Alberta residents are seeking protection against COVID-19.

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other unspecified prizes. 

He says the first instalment will be open to Albertans 18 or older who get at least their first dose of vaccine within a week of the day the province partially immunizes 70 per cent of the population.

He says the first grand prize draw will take place the day the province enters Phase 3 of  its pandemic recovery plan, adding more details will be announced in the coming days.

“We need to just nudge those who haven’t gotten around to getting their vaccines yet,” Kenney said in the video posted Saturday.

“After all, we’ve had to spend billions of dollars in our health-care system and through supporting people through the past 16 tough months. So if we can just keep pushing up those numbers of people who are vaccinated, that will easily pay for itself in future savings.”

As of Friday, the province said almost 69 per cent of those 12 and older had received at least one dose of vaccine. About 729,000 people have had two shots.

Alberta is not the first jurisdiction to unveil incentives to make residents roll up their sleeves for a vaccine shot. Earlier this week, Manitoba announced it would be holding two lottery draws this summer with $100,000 prizes and $25,000 youth scholarships

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2021

The Canadian Press

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