Toronto emergency room doctor Lisa Salamon-Switzman (Lisa Salamon-Switzman) has completed two deadly coronavirus pandemics because of the recent arrival of new patients due to their low oxygen levels. Level and age disturbed her.
When talking about patients in their 40s and 50s, she said: “They are younger than we have seen before. They really don’t understand their condition.”
Doctors and epidemiologists in Canada’s most populous province have been warning for weeks that the relaxation of restrictions, the lack of sick leave for basic workers, and the arrival of infectious new coronavirus variants will usher in a devastating third wave.
On Thursday, as the number of cases and ICU admissions increased, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was forced to cancel the reopening plan and instead announced a one-month suspension of work.
Health officials warned that the rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus put the province at risk.
“As the variant spreads, Covid is killing younger and younger people,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the Covid-19 Science Advisory Desk in Ontario.
These variants (actually mutated versions of Covid-19, which can be more susceptible to infection and are considered more deadly) have become increasingly serious in many provinces across the country.
In British Columbia, the P1 variant was first detected in Brazil and has spread rapidly. In recent days, the province has recorded the highest number of cases since the pandemic more than a year ago.
Quebec, which has long resisted closing schools, announced the lockdown of three cities this week because of the variants that contributed to the outbreak of the virus.
But in Ontario (Canada’s economic center), the province’s latest epidemic has become a landmark representative of the virus, which has a disproportionate impact on basic workers in factories and warehouses, many of whom are ethnic minorities. Income members.
Although the province’s restrictions are expected to curb overall case growth, the new model shows that by the end of April, there will be nearly 800 patients in the province’s ICU beds, almost twice the current rate.
In recent weeks, as restaurants and schools have reopened, new cases have steadily increased.
“Surprisingly, our number of hospitalizations does not seem to be as high as in the first or second wave. However, even if there is no worse situation, our ICU numbers are just as bad. The patients got worse and went straight to the ICU. Salamon-Switzman said. “It’s like the original Covid strain, but on steroids.”
For doctors, the ever-changing patient population has exposed the serious inequality of the virus.
“We know that the ethnic population affected by Covid-19 far exceeds anyone else. We know that most of these populations are important workers working in factories but have not yet been given the opportunity to be vaccinated,” Salaman Sway Ziman said.
Although Canada is one of the countries with the highest supply of vaccines per capita, the speed of introduction is too slow to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. As a result of long-term efforts to ensure the protection of the country’s most vulnerable residents, deaths in long-term care have basically disappeared.
Toronto’s health officer Eileen de Vila said: “If the current situation is described as a game, then these variants will be one mile ahead.”
Many patients at Salman Swisman Hospital who contracted the virus in the workplace have underlying health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. These conditions put them in a high-risk state, but they are still unable to qualify for the vaccine according to the province’s guidelines.
The installation box also exposes the difficult choices that workers must make. The province does not provide guaranteed paid sick leave, and temporary or casual workers are generally not eligible for employee benefits.
“Workers have to make difficult choices: either get sick at home, get paid, or go to work,” said Gagandeep Kaur, organizer of the Warehouse Workers Center. “And because there are so many parents, they have to worry that their children might come home sick and infect them.”
Kaul said that at the same time, the high cost of living in cities means that many workers often live in shared apartments, which exacerbates the spread of the virus. In the worst-hit areas, many people are temporary workers who are not eligible for employer benefits.
Until workers have better access to vaccines and a chance to stay at home when they are sick, Kaur fears that the situation will continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks.
“We have been talking about these essential workers. We call them leaders, heroes and providers.” she said. “But no matter how we call them, the way we treat them doesn’t really reflect this.”