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Open letter to Canada’s Premiers calling for pivot in response, end to lockdowns

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Premiers,

It has been over one full year since the declaration of the Pandemic. SARS CoV-2 has been in Canada much longer than that, as you well know.

You are responsible for the response in each of your jurisdictions.  While the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) are equally responsible for the advice they have given, you personally were elected to lead. They were not.

Your own statistics prove that for people under the age of 60, SARS CoV-2 is not something to be feared. In one full year, people under the age of 60 are twice as likely to die from a heart disease. For people 20 – 40 years old, they are five times more likely to die in a car accident. Worldwide 2.54 million people die from Pneumonic annually. SARS CoV-2 has killed under 2 Million in a year. The risk from SARS CoV-2 has been widely exaggerated, by you, your MOH and the media.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.625778/full

For people over 60, your approach has failed our seniors.

Canada has ranked last in the Organization of Economically Developed Countries (OECD) in care of those most at risk to SARS CoV-2. Over 96% of all reported SARS CoV-2 deaths were in our seniors. Even Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health admitted this is Canada’s shame.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/we-failed-the-most-vulnerable-dr-tam-s-biggest-takeaway-after-a-year-of-covid-19-1.5345393

Your use of “lockdowns” did not save over 21,000 of our seniors. It failed them.

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/canadas-nursing-homes-have-worst-record-for-covid-deaths-among-wealthy-nations-report/ar-BB1f76sw

The use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) which we now call “lockdowns” was known to have little effect on the spread of infectious diseases long before SARS CoV-2 arrived. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) assembled the best infectious disease doctors in the world to write the 2019 version of “Non-Pharmaceutical Public Health Measures”. If you read the document, for a Pandemic of the severity of SARS CoV-2, most of these measures were not recommended for use. Yet we used almost all of them.

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329438/9789241516839-eng.pdf

Top infectious disease doctors in the world have proven in repeated detail peer reviewed research papers all over again that “lockdowns” do not have significant impacts on either the spread or deaths for SARS CoV-2. Yet you and the media constantly tell us they do. But one of the many in depth studies found: “While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with lessrestrictive interventions”.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13484

https://off-guardian.org/2021/03/23/lockdown-one-year-on-it-doesnt-work-it-never-worked-it-wasnt-supposed-to-work/

What is also know is that “lockdowns” cause terrible collateral damage. The damage to Canadians Mental Health, Societal Health, Children’s Education and Social Development, Patients with other Severe Illnesses and to our National Economy (Federal and Provincial/Territorial) will continue, until you remove and promise never to inflict “lockdowns again. These impacts and deaths seem not to be considered in any cost benefit analysis by you or your MOH.

Many of the world’s experts have tried to help target the response to SARS CoV-2 to save the most vulnerable, while minimizing the effects on the rest of our population. You have ignored these experts. In fact, most of these experts have been completely censored by you, your MOH and the media.

https://gbdeclaration.org/

Please read the attached Paper, “One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada”. The Paper states what we had collectively planned to do in a Pandemic, what we have done, and how to pivot out of our failed response.

It is time to stop.

Listen to all expert voices.

Pivot.

Thank you for your time.

David Redman

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

 

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Emergency Management

Pandemics happen continuously. Since 1955, this is the world’s fifth pandemic. In the next fifty-five years there is going to be five more. We have never responded to a pandemic like we responded to COVID-19.

It must be clear that a pandemic is not a Public Health Emergency, it is a Public Emergency because all areas of society are affected: public sector, private sector, not- for-profit sector, and all citizens.

In Canada, we have an Emergency Management Process that we normally use in a pandemic. We have pre-written Pandemic Response plans. These plans were written incorporating the hard lessons learned from previous pandemics.

Part of the lessons learned from previous pandemics is contained in the World Health Organization (WHO) “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza” dated 2019.

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329438/9789241516839-eng.pdf

This document included the world’s best studies and information on the use of 15 separate non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The use of these NPIs was discussed in the development of the existing Provincial Plans.

The 2019 WHO document was known, or should have been known, by all Medical Officers of Health in Canada. The use of each of the NPIs was dependant on the severity of the pandemic. Even in a High or Extraordinary Pandemic the use of all or most of these NPIs at the same time was not envisioned.

Prior to the use of each NPI, the Federal and Provincial/Territorial governments needed to demonstrably justify how each NPI would protect the life of Canadians. Some of the NPIs were not recommended for use in any pandemic, including:

  • Contact Tracing (not recommended after first two weeks)
  • Quarantine of Exposed Individuals
  • Entry and Exit Screening
  • Border Closures

page1image3672512

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Some of the NPIs were recommended for use only as a last resort, including: • Workplace Measures and Closures

Despite this, they were used as a first resort.

Some NPIs were not recommended for a pandemic with the severity of COVID-19, including:

  • School Measures and Closures
  • Face Masks for Public These recommendations were ignored.The lack of any attempt to publicly demonstrate a cost benefit analysis based on life and impact on lives shows a complete disregard for “Due Diligence” by both our Medical Officers of Health (MOH) and our Premiers.

    In summary on NPIs, the collateral damage from the use of each NPI needed to be justified in a cost benefit analysis, showing not only what life saving could be expected, but what the short-term and long-term impact on lives would be. Further, it needed to be demonstrably shown why the WHO recommendations were ignored. This was never done for any of the NPIs invoked.

    The aim of the pre-written pandemic plans is to allow our leaders to rapidly minimize the impact of a new pandemic on our society. The four goals of the pandemic plans are clearly defined:

    • Controlling the spread of influenza disease and reducing illness (morbidity) and death (mortality) by providing access to appropriate prevention measures, care, and treatment.

    • Mitigating societal disruption in Alberta through ensuring the continuity and recovery of critical services.

    • Minimizing adverse economic impact.

    • Supporting an efficient and effective use of resources during response and recovery

    https://www.alberta.ca/pandemic-influenza.aspx#toc-1

    The purpose in writing these plans in advance is to ensure the government could rapidly advise the public of the scope of the new hazard and publicly issue a complete written plan to address it. That way the public can see the entire plan, see the phases of the plan, and all steps that will be taken. The public understands their role in the plan. The response to the pandemic would then be coherent.

    This has not happened.

page2image1673952

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

The Canadian Response – Not Based on Emergency Management

The Canadian response to COVID-19 has been incoherent, constantly changing, and with no plan. The sole focus on COVID-19 case counts led to a completely flawed response trying to deal only with the first pandemic goal, and failing.

In February and March 2020 we knew that over 95% of the deaths in China and Europe were in seniors, over the age of 60, with multiple co-morbidities.

page3image1735520 page3image1735296page3image1733280 page3image1733056

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

We should have immediately developed options for the protection of concentrations of our seniors over 60 with co-morbidities. Our Long Term Care (LTC) homes should have developed and offered quarantine options, for both the residents and the staff.

In our first full year of COVID-19 in Canada, 96% of our over 22,800 deaths have been in seniors, over the age of 60, with multiple co-morbidities. See Figure 5 in link below, updated weekly by Health Canada.

https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19- cases.html

That is over 21,890 deaths. It is likely that thousands of these deaths could have been avoided, as over 80% of the deaths in the first wave occurred in LTC homes.

After one full year, we stand at 73% of the 22,880 deaths in LTC homes, 16,700 of our seniors. Our country ranked last in the OECD for protecting our seniors.

Long-Term Care Homes in Canada – The Impact of COVID-19

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/canadas-nursing-homes-have-worst-record- for-covid-deaths-among-wealthy-nations-report/ar-BB1f76sw

This may have cost $2 billion, but could have saved over 16,700 lives as 73% of Canadian deaths have been in LTC homes in the first year of COVID-19. Instead we locked down healthy Canadians and our businesses and spent well over $240 billion to force over 8 million healthy Canadians to stay at home. The cost mounts daily.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/tracking-unprecedented-federal-coronavirus-spending- 1.5827045

We did not need to follow the failed lock down practice of China or Europe. Lockdowns have not saved 21,890 of our Canadian seniors. We knew who was most at risk and had time to provide the option of quarantine for our seniors, both in LTC homes and in society. Instead, we sacrificed our seniors.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/26/world/elderly-care-homes-coronavirus-intl/index.html

page4image1674576 page4image1671456

In June 2020, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that Canada had a higher

page4image1677072

proportion of COVID-19 deaths within LTC settings than other OECD countries included in its

comparison. At that time, deaths in Canadian LTCs from COVID-19 were at 81% of the total, while

OECD countries reported LTC COVID-19 deaths of 10-66% (average of 38%) of their totals.

page4image1677904page4image1678112page4image1678320page4image1678528

The CBC News analysis has tracked $105.66 billion in federal payments to individuals; $118.37

page4image1678736

billion that has gone to businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations; and a further

page4image1678944

$16.18 billion in transfers to provinces, territories, municipalities and government agencies.

page4image1679152 page4image1679360page4image1679568

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

Our leaders and doctors constantly tell us we are in danger of overwhelming our medical system. If we had acted to quarantine our seniors’ long term care facilities, our hospital capacity would not have been challenged, as 71% of our hospital beds and 64% of our ICU capacity continue to this day to be filled with seniors. See Figure 5 in link below, updated daily by Health Canada.

https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19- cases.html

We would not have needed to stop other medical procedures.

https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-canadas-medical-wait-times-longest- ever-because-of-covid-19

We should never have forced healthy medical staff to self-isolate. We should have made rapid testing a priority for all orders of government.

We ignored the other three goals of our pre-existing pandemic plans:

• Mitigating societal disruption in Alberta through ensuring the continuity and recovery of critical services.

• Minimizing adverse economic impact.

• Supporting an efficient and effective use of resources during response and recovery

Ignoring these three goals and following a failed lockdown response has caused massive collateral damage in terms of deaths and long-term effects on our population. Collateral damage, largely ignored by mainstream media, includes but is not limited to:

  • Societal health,
  • Mental health,
  • Other health conditions,
  • Children’s education and social development,
  • Economic healthhttps://pandemicalternative.org/ https://collateralglobal.org/

    We are told that lockdowns (i.e. the persistent use of NPIs) has decreased the spread and deaths from COVID-19. Therefore, it is assumed that the collateral deaths are somehow justified. Nothing could be further from the truth.

page5image1657520 page5image1680608page5image1680816 page5image1681024 page5image1681232page5image1681440

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

We knew from the WHO 2019 NPI document cited earlier that the use of most NPIs have little effect on the spread of a virus. It was a lesson learned. Unfortunately, it had to be proved again through studies by some of the best infectious disease doctors in the world. One such study on the spread of COVID-19 is quoted:

“European Journal of Clinical Investigation
Assessing mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closure effects on the spread of

COVID‐19

Methods

We first estimate COVID‐19 case growth in relation to any NPI implementation in subnational regions of 10 countries: England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United States. Using first‐difference models with fixed effects, we isolate the effects of mrNPIs by subtracting the combined effects of lrNPIs and epidemic dynamics from all NPIs. We use case growth in Sweden and South Korea, 2 countries that did not implement mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures, as comparison countries for the other 8 countries (16 total comparisons).

Conclusions
While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less‐restrictive interventions.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13484

Further comment on deaths from COVID-19 and non-lockdown countries compared to lockdown countries:

https://off-guardian.org/2021/03/23/lockdown-one-year-on-it-doesnt-work-it-never- worked-it-wasnt-supposed-to-work/

COVID-19 has followed the annual seasonal infection curve almost exactly, in spite of lockdowns in our country. Our MOH and Premiers take credit for the seasons when it is in their favour and blame their citizens when seasons dictate “exponential increases”. Our Premiers and MOHs continue to abandon our Emergency Management Process and give in to fear.

page6image3678960 page6image3682288page6image3692064

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

page7image1730144

Conclusions – An Emergency Management and Science Based Way Ahead

Canadians deserve a confidence-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic and all future pandemics. An eight-point process is proposed for the immediate future:

1. Releaseacomprehensive,FourGoal-basedPandemicPlan,showingwhatis to be done phase by phase, and what the public’s role is in each phase.

  1. Vigorouslyenactaplantoprotectourmostvulnerable(thoseoverage60 with multiple co-morbidities).
  2. Ensureallcriticalinfrastructure(includingbutnotlimitedtohospitals)isready for people who get sick and who need to take sick days.
  3. Removethefearcampaignfromthemedia.ThisneedsaPLANandwillnot be easy. Government and the MOH daily facts must be given with context. There is no need to announce how many people have tested positive from COVID-19 each day. Introduce solid messaging that, with the context of what we know now, the way ahead is not based on case counts but rather on a confidence that we have the medical resources in our system, and speak to all Four Goals of the Pandemic Plan.
  4. Endalltalkoffuturelockdownsandloosensocialdistancingrules.Making people fear each other is always the wrong approach to any challenge.
  5. Guaranteetokeepschoolsanddaycaresopen,withrelaxedsocial distancing like in Sweden.

One Year of COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada March 31, 2021
David Redman
Former Head of Emergency Management Alberta

7. Geteveryoneunder65withoutpre-existingcompromisedimmune systems, who can and want to work, fully back to work.

8. Continuetovaccinateassafeandeffectivevaccinesbecomeavailable,for the current strain of COVID-19.

page8image2908784

Canada’s Response to COVID-19 After One Year

 

 

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

Gustavsson leads AHL Senators in 4-2 win over Heat

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CALGARY — Filip Gustavsson stopped 30 shots as the Belleville Senators doubled up the Stockton Heat 4-2 on Wednesday in American Hockey League play.

Lassi Thomson, Egor Sokolov, Mark Kastelic and Parker Kelly scored to help the Senators (8-12-1) halt a three-game slide.

Matthew Phillips and Zac Leslie replied for the Heat (10-12-1).

Garret Sparks stopped 28-of-31 shots for Stockton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

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CALGARY — The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks.

Alberta Education said Wednesday that it approved requests from public and Catholic schools in the city to make the move to online learning.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a release that some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“The safety of students and staff is my top priority, which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy,” she said.

“By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”

The province said it has not closed any schools for health reasons, and any decision to move a portion of a school to at-home learning is at the discretion of each school board.

About 19 per cent of schools have COVID-19 alerts or outbreaks. Nine schools are currently doing online learning.

Marilyn Dennis, board chair with the Calgary Board of Education, said in the release that the greatest impacts of COVID-19 have been in schools with higher grades.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, also said there has been a sharp rise in cases among school-aged Albertans.

The province, with 15,569 active infections, currently has the highest rate of active cases in Canada.

On Wednesday, the province reported 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths due to the virus. There were 420 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 92 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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