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Tywin Manderly

Canadian Politics: The Surreality of Life under King Corona

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

The really sad fact is that Canada has utterly failed the elderly.

My thoughts exactly. Canada isn’t alone in this, but at the end of the day the “we’re all in this together” stuff rings hollow when only one demographic is really, truly suffering. And with hardly any targeted help coming their way, from either the Feds or Provinces.

The stats around deaths in aged care facilities should be revolving front page news in Canada. But they’re not.

RE: Ontario, I’d also like to see more testing, but I am impressed at the recent stats.

Edited by Paxter

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

 

It's mainly illegal to collect statistics on the basis of ethnicity, or colour,

This is interesting and I wonder if that is the case for morbidity & mortality statistics in Canada outside of COVID 19 cases. Minorities & immigrants have worse health outcomes for a myriad of reasons in a lot of countries including the US & the UK ( talking about non-covid here, though COVID 19 is disproportionately affecting people from BAME backgrounds in the UK) - so it wouldn't make sense for me to not collect those statistics.

Unless you're only talking about COVID 19 cases here, but even then, I find it odd that those statistics are not collected.

Edited by Raja

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14 hours ago, Paxter said:

 

RE: Ontario, I’d also like to see more testing, but I am impressed at the recent stats.

Sadly, 78 cases were missed yesterday (computer entry error I guess) and the number got bumped up to 345, not 258. Today's number is in line at 341.

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15 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Sadly, 78 cases were missed yesterday (computer entry error I guess) and the number got bumped up to 345, not 258. Today's number is in line at 341.

Haha. Three steps forward, two backward. It's slow progress, but we have gone from about 4,600 active cases to 3,500 in the last couple of weeks. Hopefully we can get that right down by the end of the month. 

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Here in NL we've had no new cases for 8 days straight (and only a handful in the last several weeks). No COVID-19 patients have been admitted to hospital since Easter Weekend and there are only two left in hospital. There are only 9 active cases right now. 

We've now moved to "Alert Level 4" which so far seems like a fairly arbitrary set of slightly relaxed restrictions. My dogs can now go to a pet sitter apparently, yet still can't be groomed there for another 23 days. In the meantime, the government has talked about resuming medical services, but the plans so far indicate at best the status quo. It's very frustrating. There's a fine line between caution and paralysis and we're tending to the latter. 

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The Ford government has given a pay increase to those health care workers who re in most danger of exposure to COVID-19. Other healthcare workers were left off of the list. Michael Hurley, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president made a remark about this and wanted to know the reason why, pointing out that all hospital workers have a high risk of exposure. I just saw on the news that Markham Stouffville Hospital has an outbreak in the plant maintenance department. Almost the entire department has tested positive. 

Just as an aside, under Ontario law if there are no building operators able to work in a hospital, that hospital cannot be occupied. 

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29 minutes ago, maarsen said:

The Ford government has given a pay increase to those health care workers who re in most danger of exposure to COVID-19. Other healthcare workers were left off of the list. Michael Hurley, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president made a remark about this and wanted to know the reason why, pointing out that all hospital workers have a high risk of exposure. I just saw on the news that Markham Stouffville Hospital has an outbreak in the plant maintenance department. Almost the entire department has tested positive. 

Just as an aside, under Ontario law if there are no building operators able to work in a hospital, that hospital cannot be occupied. 

i haven’t seen the story yet - is this money for nursing home workers? The federal government gave money to all the provinces to give a salary increase to underpaid workers with jobs with high exposure to Covid-19, like PSWs.  No strings were attached, every province was allowed to identify the workers who would get the funds. It wasn’t meant to give general salary increases, and it wasn’t danger pay. I assume unionized workers are not in need of aid the way workers like non-unionized PSWs are, and even if a couple plant maintenance workers have become infected, I think they are far outnumbered by infected PSWs, who have a much greater chance of getting Covid-19. I do remember hearing that cleaners and janitors were suggested occupations as well - are those people part of Plant Maintenance?

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4 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

i haven’t seen the story yet - is this money for nursing home workers? The federal government gave money to all the provinces to give a salary increase to underpaid workers with jobs with high exposure to Covid-19, like PSWs.  No strings were attached, every province was allowed to identify the workers who would get the funds. It wasn’t meant to give general salary increases, and it wasn’t danger pay. I assume unionized workers are not in need of aid the way workers like non-unionized PSWs are, and even if a couple plant maintenance workers have become infected, I think they are far outnumbered by infected PSWs, who have a much greater chance of getting Covid-19. I do remember hearing that cleaners and janitors were suggested occupations as well - are those people part of Plant Maintenance?

Plant maintenance are the people who actually run and upkeep the building. We looked after the heating, AC, ventilation, including for the negative pressure rooms, plumbing, electrical and so on. As such we work everywhere in the hospital. Every floor and every room. The entire building is automated and we also monitor and adjust temperature and humidities to keep it all within mandated parameters. There were 7 positive tests and when I retired we were down to 7 plant maintenance operators. The other 7 people are clerical, management and helpers, who are not trained in plant operation or do not have the relevant trade license. We were required to work 7 days a week and bee on call to respond to emergencies such as broken pipes, nurse call  system screwups, fire alarms, pump and fan failures during the times after hours. If plant maintenance is not available, the building cannot be occupied. If one trade is absent such as no electrician on duty, due to illness, then a simple job such as replacing a 600V blown fuse becomes very problematic. There are about 1000 nurses in the hospital, RNs and RPNs, probably about 75 PSWs. If PSWs disappear, nurses can do their work. There is nobody to replace the 7 plant maintenance guys. Those 7 have to cover 3 shifts, 24/7 365 days a year.

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4 minutes ago, maarsen said:

Plant maintenance are the people who actually run and upkeep the building. We looked after the heating, AC, ventilation, including for the negative pressure rooms, plumbing, electrical and so on. As such we work everywhere in the hospital. Every floor and every room. The entire building is automated and we also monitor and adjust temperature and humidities to keep it all within mandated parameters. There were 7 positive tests and when I retired we were down to 7 plant maintenance operators. The other 7 people are clerical, management and helpers, who are not trained in plant operation or do not have the relevant trade license. We were required to work 7 days a week and bee on call to respond to emergencies such as broken pipes, nurse call  system screwups, fire alarms, pump and fan failures during the times after hours. If plant maintenance is not available, the building cannot be occupied. If one trade is absent such as no electrician on duty, due to illness, then a simple job such as replacing a 600V blown fuse becomes very problematic. There are about 1000 nurses in the hospital, RNs and RPNs, probably about 75 PSWs. If PSWs disappear, nurses can do their work. There is nobody to replace the 7 plant maintenance guys. Those 7 have to cover 3 shifts, 24/7 365 days a year.

I don't doubt any of that, the point is though, money was given to provinces to boost the wages of underpaid workers like PSWs and cleaners. I suspect unionized plant maintenance workers make a heck of a lot more than PSWs and cleaners. 

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

I don't doubt any of that, the point is though, money was given to provinces to boost the wages of underpaid workers like PSWs and cleaners. I suspect unionized plant maintenance workers make a heck of a lot more than PSWs and cleaners. 

Not really. During the last round of wage negotiations for 2017, PSWs, cleaners and porters received a wage boost on top of the one negotiated by OCHU Ontariowide of 1.5%. As we are not allowed to strike this was all settled by negotiation or arbitration and I was on the negotiating committee for our local union. We negotiated an additional increase for the PSWs and cleaners, and with the added bonus for hazardous duty, a PSW or a Housekeeper can earn almost as much as a skilled tradesperson in a hospital. Tradespeople in hospitals are in the unfortunate position of having their wages compared to RPNs in Ontario due to pay equity. The ratio of pay is set by arbitration and OCHU has tried for years to boost RPN pay , which used to be in a comparable ratio to RNs, so that skilled trades people in hospitals can achieve a rate increase comparable to the private sector. Hospitals are having a hard time finding skilled trades to work there and most are working short handed for the simple reason they do not pay enough to attract skilled tradespeople. The people they do attract were people like me who were content to take a substantial pay cut to get into a quieter, cleaner, less physical job as they neared retirement.  In an auto parts factory, I could do enough overtime to make over a $100,000/year. There is very little overtime at a hospital and I would usually make just over half of that per year.

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Update

May          13         14        15        16         17         18        19

             cases     cases    cases    cases    cases    cases    cases                

BC             16        15         15        21         -          16           2

Albt           62        50        58        72       57         39          33

Sask            4          5          8          1         1           0            7

Man            0          0          0          0         0            1           0

ON          329       345      341      391     340       304        427

Que         706      793       696      763     737       707        570

NS               4          2           8          3         3           3            1  

Totals      1121   1210     1126    1251   1138     1070      1040 

The numbers are headed in the right direction. I have left off NB, PEI and NFLD since they have all been at the zero level for more than a week. Manitoba would have been left off but they found one new case, a grocery store worker, but they thought he was low risk as a spreader since in his job social distancing had been followed and no one spent more than a minute or two with him. I guess we'll see. Ontario had a spike up, I couldn't see where, but unfortunately only some 5,500 or so tests were done that day and yet there's that spike. I assume people were allowed a break for the long weekend. As a result schools will not re-open until September, no overnight summer camps for kids and maybe no day camps either, and the emergency measures have been extended to the end of May.

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Posted (edited)

Urgh that was an annoying spike for ON. I was hoping new cases would be closer to 200 this week. But yeah it’s probably due to Victoria Day.

Overall, Canada is seeing a plateau in active cases, while Europe has seen more of a sharp fall (the UK excepted). I wonder if the cold spring has played a part in increased transmission? Grasping for answers really.

On politics, it does seem to me (an outsider admittedly!) that the process for choosing a new Conservative leader is way too laboured. 

Edited by Paxter

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1 hour ago, Paxter said:

Urgh that was an annoying spike for ON. I was hoping new cases would be closer to 200 this week. But yeah it’s probably due to Victoria Day.

Overall, Canada is seeing a plateau in active cases, while Europe has seen more of a sharp fall (the UK excepted). I wonder if the cold spring has played a part in increased transmission? Grasping for answers really.

On politics, it does seem to me (an outsider admittedly!) that the process for choosing a new Conservative leader is way too laboured. 

The Conservative party here in Canada is anything but conservative in trying new ways to choose a leader. Any time tested way of choosing a leader tends to bring out moderates who appeal to a reasonably large chunk of Canadian voters. Consider that in the last election  that left leaning parties, Libs, NDP, BQ, Greens, got over 60% of the votes. Social conservatives are increasingly more vocal in the Conservative party and novel electoral methods that give them a stronger voice are being pushed by them. I consider this a win-win situation. They get the leader they want, the rest of us get an increasingly irrelevant Conservative party.

BTW, now that spring has finally showed up, I hope the  little blackflies stay away from where you are. Australia may have loads of poisonous creatures but we have the dreaded blackfly.

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2 hours ago, Paxter said:

Urgh that was an annoying spike for ON. I was hoping new cases would be closer to 200 this week. But yeah it’s probably due to Victoria Day.

Overall, Canada is seeing a plateau in active cases, while Europe has seen more of a sharp fall (the UK excepted). I wonder if the cold spring has played a part in increased transmission? Grasping for answers really.

On politics, it does seem to me (an outsider admittedly!) that the process for choosing a new Conservative leader is way too laboured. 

I think I figured out the spike issue.

Testing has been ramped up so that everyone in nursing homes and front-line workers can all be tested. But otherwise it was difficult for anyone else to get a test, you had to call an assessment centre and most of the time, I gather, they told people to self-quarantine, not come in for a test. Apparently testing was thrown open to anyone with symptoms this weekend, and so people with symptoms showed up, but not very many of them. There was lots of unused capacity. So on one hand the percentage of positive cases looks terrible, but on the other hand there weren't thousands knocking on the door. I have not watched the press conferences the last couple of days so I missed the announcement. I may call in and see if I can get tested. 

We know there are many more cases out there than the official number. There are 1919 dead, so by some counts that means x100 cases, 191,190. However, since so many deaths were in nursing homes, I'm not sure this applies.

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I think you're right @Fragile Bird. There is quite a bit of negativity about the ON new cases numbers at the moment...but daily deaths in the Province are significantly lower than a month ago (from a peak of 86 on April 30 to 20-40 this week). Unless something odd has happened in terms of the virus' effects, that must mean that we have successfully reduced the number of active cases. The discrepancy is created by testing. 

I would be much more worried if that daily deaths rolling average wasn't decreasing. But it is, both here and across Canada. 

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Update

May          18        19         20        21         22         23       

             cases     cases    cases    cases    cases    cases    cases                

BC             16           2        21       12        18        

Albt           39         33        19       33        32 

Sask            0           7         21        2          2

Man            1           0           0        0          0

ON          304       427       390     413      441        412

Que         707       570       578     720      646

NS               3           1          1         1          2

NB               0           0          0         1          0

Totals     1070      1040   1030   1182     1146

We are stuck on a plateau in ON and PQ.

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Fewer than 1,000 new cases Canada-wide today! For the first time since March.

Hopefully that's not driven by poor testing numbers in ON...

On the positive note, I'm loving the weather at the moment. Working from the balcony a lot of the day. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, been nice lately since that recent spat of rain here.

I have a hard time engaging with Canadian politics when my province is run by such a IDU, social conservative toad. 

Makes me angry. 

Edited by JEORDHl

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9 hours ago, JEORDHl said:

Yeah, been nice lately since that recent spat of rain here.

I have a hard time engaging with Canadian politics when my province is run by such a IDU, social conservative toad. 

Makes me angry. 

We just had a report on LTC homes done by the armed forces who got sent in. I guess Walkerton wasn't a one off thing for Conservatives. Freeze their pay, take away sick days and you get what you pay for. 

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Posted (edited)

Have you guys read this report? It's tragic stuff. Full report can be found here, I'm halfway through at the moment. As Maarsen said, it's a military report on Long Term Care Homes by the Armed forced. Reading the report, it's not surprise what's going on in the care homes.

Quote

Infection Control
- Isolation: COVID Positive patients allowed to wander. This means anyone in the facility ( staff, residents & visitors) is at risk of being exposed and passing it throughout the home; as the resident's location is not predictable, full appropriate PPE is not possible.

- PPE Practices - Resident Rooms: facility staff are under the impression that if the infection between 2 residents is the same, there's no need to change their gown; and

- PPE Practices - outside rooms: facility staff often wear PPE outside of rooms and at the nurses station

Standards of practice/ quality of care concerns
- Reusing  hypodermoclysis supplies even after sterility has been obviously compromised

- Poor palliative care standards

- No mouth or eye care or supplies for palliative residents

- Poor foley catheter care. Senior nursing officer reports poor adherence to orders, no consistent safety checks. Significant incidents of excessive sediment or abnormal discharge and bleeding with no follow on action.

- Generally very poor peri-catherization care reported. Example - retracting penis foreskin to clean isn't happening on a widespread level. CAF have found nearly a dozen incidents of bleeding fungal infections.

Supplies
- General culture of fear to use supplies because they cost money ( fluid bags, dressings, gowns, gloves etc)

- Key supplies are under lock and key, not accessible by those who need them for work

- Expired medication - much of the ward stock was months out of date

This is just 1 care home but it's like this in all 3-4 of them that they reviewed. This stuff honestly astounds me.

Edited by Raja

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