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Letter: Hinshaw's approach is the right one

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

The news conference on Aug. 13 has given me some confidence and hope that we are finely going to start living normally again and restore some sanity in Alberta. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s matter of fact explanation of why we are moving in the direction we are and her calm measured responses to all questions was refreshing. I appreciated her commitment to follow the data, acknowledgment that there will be some disagreement about how exactly we should move forward, and her openness to honest respectful dialogue.

Healthcare workers have been taking care of very sick and dying people. 

I can’t even begin to imagine the stress and emotional toll that takes on them.

I am sure some of them are suffering from PTSD. They have seen all the bad outcomes from COVID-19, which surely colours how they interpret the world, shapes their beliefs and the conclusions they draw.  Compare it to your experience. Do you personally know someone who has died from COVID-19?  Do you know someone who knows someone who died from COVID-19?  We have conducted more COVID tests than there are people in Alberta and only five per cent of Albertans have tested positive. 

Using health outcomes as the only measure of success of our response to the pandemic has proven to be a mistake. While it is true, many Albertans (2332 as of Aug. 14, 2021) have died, including several apparently healthy 20 – 30 year olds, (no deaths in those under 20), how many more Albertans are now suffering anxiety, fear, depression, addiction, disrupted education, unemployment and the loss of their livelihood?  

The media has constantly barraged us for the past eighteen months with case numbers, positivity rates, death numbers, school outbreaks, et cetera.They painted a very scary picture, but does this picture reflect reality? What they didn’t tell you were things like the threshold for an outbreak in a school was two – five cases. Ninety-seven per cent of the people who died from COVID-19 had at least one underlying medical condition. 

The average age of death from COVID-19 in Alberta is 80 years old and the average life expectancy in Canada is 82 years.

It’s time to break free from the matrix. Get out from under a cloud of irrational fear. Think for yourself and ask questions. Seek common ground with whom you do not agree. Use common sense. Take reasonable precautions. We can live with COVID-19.

Dorothy Burns