Since my last editorial, Jason Kenney has announced a sudden end to restrictions. And, from what reports I’ve seen, Albertans have started taking advantage of it, flocking to venues and restaurants and gathering in larger groups even as hospitals announced some of the highest numbers of general admittance and the highest numbers of ICU admittance for this wave.
On the flip side, waste water readings of the virus have been declining for some time, so perhaps things will work out and the virus has lowered to such levels that allowing it easier access to multiple new hosts will not cause a resurgence. That’s the hope, anyway.
But even if it does, what’s most concerning is that Premiere Kenney has made suggestions that the province might require municipalities to follow his lead, even while refusing to provide those municipalities with the data that he claims justifies these decisions.
Why hide the data if it supports his actions? On the flip side, if the data doesn’t support his actions, why do them? These are rhetorical questions, obviously, as everybody, including those against the mandates, realize Kenney’s sudden change of heart from earlier in the month is likely much more to do with the leadership review approaching the UCP on April 9th and the convoy interfering with traffic flow down to the United States by Coutts than any sudden and new developments on the COVID front.
Given how fast this newest variant of COVID spreads, if the ICU doctors and health professionals who are actually experts in the disease are correct and this re-opening has come too soon, we should be finding ourselves approaching a complete health system collapse as that leadership review gets underway.
And given the current state of the UCP and popularity of Jason Kenney, there is a significant chance that Kenney will no longer be sitting as the leader of the UCP or the Premiere of Alberta. Which means that that position will be looking for candidates as we enter probably the worst health-care crisis we’ve seen yet.
Anybody signing up to be interim leader during that time will either be doing so knowing they’re a sacrificial lamb and this will end their political career, or because they’re not bright enough to see that. Either way, it means we can expect the governance of Alberta is unlikely to improve significantly for the next wave.
Physicians and nurses, have already let us know they are reaching their breaking points. I expect seeing us deliberately head rudderless into another wave is likely to be the one straw too many for a lot of them.
But hey, maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. Either way, Albertans will continue to get through this, one way or another—what other choice is there, after all?
I guess my point is, if you know a nurse or a physician, now might be a good time to give them a call and just wish them the best. Maybe send a fruit basket if you can. If things go bad, it will be good for them to have a reminder that they are still valued by regular people in this province. And if things don’t, well, there’s nothing wrong with brightening the day of someone who’s trying to keep us healthy and safe. Enjoy the read!