With all the worries surrounding the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, I have to question the worth of a news release from Sault Area Hospital on March 15.
“On March 14, a health care worker (HCW) at Sault Area Hospital became a person under investigation for possible exposure to COVID -19.
“At this time, we know that a limited number of our staff, physicians, and patients were in contact with this HCW. We want to reassure the community that these individuals have been notified and they are taking all necessary precautions.
“There is no additional risk to the broader community at this time. SAH continues to work closely with Algoma Public Health as part of the community response to COVID-19. As an organization, we are committed to you, and we are instituting additional systems to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our community, staff, physicians and patients.”
SAH followed up four days later with the following:
“On March 19, Algoma Public Health notified Sault Area Hospital that the health care worker (HCW) at Sault Area Hospital is no longer under investigation for possible exposure to COVID-19. The test results are negative. All individuals who were in contact with this HCW have been informed.”
In between these releases, on March 17, APH issued a news release revealing that the Algoma District had its first positive test for COVID-19.
That was news.
And it went along with the good job Algoma Public Health is doing in keeping us informed and pushing us to do all we can, washing our hands repeatedly and honouring social distancing, to help in the fight against the virus.
The SAH release didn’t seem to have any practical purpose. It emphasized there was no additional risk to the broader community, but this was a risk the community wouldn’t even have known about except for its news release.
I heard about it through word of mouth, being told that we had our first case.
More, of course, would be sure to soon follow.
Naturally I looked up the story and found three key words, “investigation” and “possible exposure,” which put a lie to what I had been told.
But the person had read it as saying we actually had our first case. Others probably did too.
I appreciate that SAH may have thought it should put the word out because it involved a health care worker, staff, physicians and patients.
But, although I am all for transparency since I have been in the news business for 65 years,
I believe that in future SAH should withhold any word of an investigation, instead just letting us know if someone who has been investigated tests positive.
AND SOMEONE PLEASE tell me what the fixation is on buying up as much toilet paper as possible during the coronavirus crisis?
How many times a day do some people go pottie?
It has actually led to jokes appearing in videos sent by email.
In one a man is on a corner and a car approaches and stops. The man looks around and then approaches the car. He reaches inside his jacket.
The viewer’s first thought is that it is a drug deal going down, but then the fellow pulls out a couple of rolls of toilet paper for which he accepts a roll of bills.
In another, a man is paying for his purchase in a convenience store by peeling single strips off a roll of toilet paper.
Others, not professing any attempt at humour, suggest using newspapers if toilet paper is not available..
This thought took me back to my childhood, to the days of outdoor biffies.
I was sheltered until about the time I started school, by sheltered meaning I was allowed to do my business in a pot inside the house, which would be emptied by one of my parents when they visited the outhouse in the backyard.
We didn’t get inside plumbing until I was about nine so the change when I began school was OK at first but became a real shock to my system when winter arrived.
We took the Winnipeg Tribune on a daily basis and also received the Dryden Observer weekly.
Yet we didn’t use either of them in the outhouse. We used the Eaton’s Simpson’s catalogues.
You’ve probably heard the term about tearing a new one.
Well, I never heard of it actually happening back then but recalling how the catalogue paper responded to the minus-40 weather of January, I wouldn’t rule it out.
We are very pampered today and I wouldn’t change it a bit.
I hear people talk about the good old days, but in every case it seems it is someone who doesn’t go back far enough to know what the good old days were really like..
I AM GLAD TO SEE stores limiting purchases on paper products and other items because it means others will have a chance to pick up some of these items.
One lady told me that she went to a store for ground meat one day last week and when she approached the bin, which she said was quite full, another lady was already there.
She and another customer waited their turn and when it came, the bin was empty. The woman had taken it all.
In cases like this, the customer should be stopped at checkout and told this is unacceptable.
However, the limit that most stores have imposed should take care of that.
I AM ALSO GLAD TO SEE stores instituting social distancing policies in checkout lines, asking customers to remain two metres apart.
I think this could be next to impossible in very busy times, and the cashiers are never going to be able to take advantage of it, but it is good to get people thinking about it..