In New Brunswick, the death rate from COVID-19 is almost double of that of any other province in the Maritimes.
As the data continues to emerge, more troubling statistics are coming out for New Brunswick where the COVID-19 virus is concerned. Forget for a minute the draconian measures taken to 'keep people safe', this article is focusing on the people who tested positive for the virus using a PCR test and their outcomes.
If you were unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19 in New Brunswick, your chances of dying from it were almost double of that of any other province in the Maritimes.
As of May 28, 2022, New Brunswick reported 57,041 PCR confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. During that time, 419 of those people died. That is a rate of 735/100,000 confirmed cases. Compare that to 399/100,000 in Nova Scotia, 399/100,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and just 87/100,000 in Prince Edward Island.
Our most valuable assets.
It goes without saying that the most valuable asset to our healthcare system is the men and women who work in it, regardless of what job position they hold. We can build all of the hospitals and medical centres we want, but without them, these are just brick and mortar buildings that bring us no value.
Services, emergency rooms and operations aren't being cancelled or downsized because we don't have the physical space to accommodate them, these actions are taking place because we don't have the human resources to keep them functioning.
Who's responsible for that? A pandemic (and unvaccinated New Brunswickers) is a convenient scape goat, but this issue has been ongoing for decades. In fact, just a month before COVID-19 hit Canadian shores, the Higgs government had been planning to close six emergency rooms overnight. During their campaign to vilify New Brunswickers who had chosen not to take a COVID-19 vaccine, health and government officials often used examples such as women going into labour, or their own children having asthma attacks, etc., and that they shouldn't have to travel to a different city to receive medical care or get to a hospital to find a bed isn't available. So traveling to a different city for medical care wasn't a concern for them in February of 2020? Also, no, the hospital beds in NB were not being taken up by COVID patients, of any vaccine status.
Those in charge have failed to protect our healthcare system by failing to ensure there is an adequate number of people to work in it.
Healthcare workers are stretched to their limits.
After not only failing to hire more nurses but failing to retain them as well, and promising to eliminate the patient wait list by October of last year, then give a new deadline of September 2022, New Brunswick's Minister of Health Dorothy Shephard now hopes to have the issue resolved by the end of 2022. Some people might refer to that as 'kicking the can down the road'.
“I know that it's taken a little bit longer but we know that our COVID reality has certainly given staff challenges and they've had to prioritize their targets in the moment,” - Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Health, New Brunswick
No Minister Shephard, the virus is not to blame, poor government management and broken promises are to blame. The New Brunswick Nurses Union has long been trying to bring the issue of the lack of nurses to light, but the cries for help appear to fall on deaf ears.
“That’s all the pandemic has done because long before that we were saying that we were short-staffed and nobody heeded our warnings. Here we are in the middle of a major crisis and trying to do the best we can.” - Paula Doucet, President, New Brunswick Nurses Union
If you have ever travelled on an airplane, you are familiar with the instructions to put your own mask on in an emergency before helping others. We're doing the exact opposite with our healthcare workers and not only is it cruel and inhumane it is not sustainable as more will burn out, experience physical and mental health challenges and we will lose more to sick leave and just simply exiting the profession because they can't take the working conditions any longer. Again, this is not a virus or unvaccinated issue, it is a government mis-management issue.
So the next time you present to the ER and you have an hours long wait time, or your surgery gets cancelled, please don't blame the staff working upwards of 30 hours in overtime, blame the people at the top who don't want to invest the money needed to recruit and retain more staff. Better yet, get involved now by contacting your local MLA and expressing your concern about the broken state of our healthcare system because without immediate, genuine intervention it's only going to get worse.
What were other Maritime provinces doing that New Brunswick didn't?
At this time, the answer is unclear. All provinces across Canada were experiencing staffing shortages prior to the pandemic only to be exasperated by the virus as well as isolation and vaccine mandates, even here in the Maritimes. Healthcare workers across all regions are experiencing the same over-workload, burnout and absences. New Brunswick isn't unique in that regard.
Or was it something that New Brunswick did do that other provinces did not? And that would be playing semantics with the data. Each time the data began to disprove the narrative this was a pandemic of the unvaccinated, the dashboard and the way it was displayed would magically change. While the way the data was reported wasn't statistically incorrect, it was misleading to the average person and they knew that. Many people believed the COVID deaths in New Brunswick were being overstated, Department of Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane seemed to confirm that in January.
"Public Health does not have enough time to determine whether cause of death is COVID-19 related prior to announcing the death publicly. As a result, when a person with COVID-19 dies, they will be counted as a COVID-19 death, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death, such as a car accident." - Bruce Macfarlane, Department of Health spokesperson
So basically, they made assumptions as to state of the pandemic in New Brunswick but sold it to the public as fact. Some people might refer to that as lying.
Worse yet, they all went along with it, including the media.
The end result being that the people of New Brunswick were, and still are, kept in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. People were terrified for the safety of their children. Children were afraid. Mental health has taken a beating. This cycle continues to this day and will get worse again this fall. Be prepared for more lockdowns, business closures and forced vaccinations when cold and flu season hits, because it's easier for the decision makers to punish you for not doing their job than to blame themselves for their own failures.
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