Or maybe that's just me asking questions... At any rate, I do have one of those inquiring minds and, as you my have guessed, tend to ask a lot of questions. Especially when it comes to health. I like information. I like clarity. I like answers. And as much fun as surprises, spontaneity and free time are in small doses, living in a constant state of flux is stressful. Humans tend to do better with more information, not less – present company included.
Over the last several months, I've been doing some digging – reading studies, speaking with doctors and local journalists, reaching out to government officials and lawyers, and finally putting in a few calls and emails to Dr. Bonnie Henry. And while I would like to be able to share some definitive answers, you'll see this isn't possible with the responses provided. Several weeks after sending the email I did receive a response from Thomas Guerrero, Executive Director on behalf of the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer. A quick search on Mr. Guerrero brought up his LinkedIn profile where his profile shows him as, “Executive Director, Corporate Issues and Client Relations Branch at BC Public Service.” Here are a few of the questions/concerns posed to Dr. Henry. Mr. Guerrero's comments in italics.
In looking at the government data provided showing charts tallying both cases and deaths, it was clear that while case numbers were indeed rising, deaths were not. I sent screen shots of the data to Dr. Henry's office inquiring why the public was not notified of these numbers as well. Context is important. No comment/answer was given.
For the better part of a year we have been told what not to do, yet almost never what to do in order to build up and strengthen overall health and immune systems. As a preventative medicine specialist, it would seem prudent for Dr. Henry to take time to encourage the public and advise on such things known to be beneficial such as eating more whole foods, avoiding sugar and processed foods, limiting alcohol and cigarettes (after all Covid is a lung disease) along with recommending vitamins to fill the gaps. After all we've been told repeatedly that those with co-morbidities and in poor health are more at risk. No answer/comment was given here either.
Reports of Covid camps being constructed around the country began to surface. Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston asked this question to his Premier after producing a tender posted on the Government of Canada Website for such a project. He did not receive an answer and in fact his mic was cut short. Unfortunately the link to that document has now been pulled down, but Mr. Hillier's comments are still online and you can watch them here. “If you do not have an adequate place to isolate, or do not have private transportation to your place of isolation, you may be transferred to a federal isolation site where you must remain for 14 days.” Visit the website .
Questions surrounding testing and how cases were being recorded began to pop up. A friend in the US said she tested positive twice and her doctor told her she would be counted as two cases. How are cases recorded in Canada when a person has tested positive more than once? Is one person counted as two cases? “With regard to testing, as recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), testing is best used for those experiencing symptoms so they can be identified and encouraged to self-isolate. This Ministry recognizes some countries, as well as some employers and workplaces in BC, are requiring or requesting COVID-19 testing or proof of negative test results in contradiction to our testing strategy. Regardless, in BC routine screening of people without symptoms of COVID-19 for any reason, including for travel, is not recommended.”
What cycle level of PCR is being used? PCR uses cycle amplifications to identify whether the virus is present. The number of amplifications is important. According to many experts, setting PCR too high is said to yield false positives. Even Dr. Anthony Faucci has gone on record stating that PCR set over 35 cycle amplifications will yield a false positive. Discussion arose around this in Ontario, which begs the question could it/is it happening in other regions as well? You can watch that discussion here. “Furthermore, COVID-19 testing technologies are advancing as the pandemic continues and the Government of Canada is moving quickly to ensure Canadians have access to the most effective and efficient testing solutions possible. Only COVID-19 testing devices authorized by Health Canada can be imported or sold in Canada, ensuring tests are well supported by evidence and will provide reliable results. While rapid testing is another tool in our arsenal, there are limitations. These tests are not licensed in Canada for asymptomatic individuals and are not as precise as laboratory testing. Additionally, the criteria for testing in BC, as recommended by the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC), remains for those experiencing symptoms only. The testing of asymptomatic individuals, as seen in other jurisdictions in Canada, has not been proven to be helpful at this time. We are, however, continuing to explore all options and our public measures will continue to change as we learn more”.
As you can see, responses are not answers. And if, as Dr. Bonnie Henry continues to remind us, we truly are, “...all in this together” the information would be forthcoming and we wouldn't have to ask.
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