Editorials - Sept. 9, 2022
Following the science?
Just last week, Ontario scrapped the five-day isolation period that had been recommended after a positive COVID-19 test. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore now says individuals should isolate when ill and can return to work or school 24 hours after symptoms resolve. Moore recommends that masks be worn for 10 days, but this is voluntary and there are no mandates in place.
Many other health professionals have decried the move, reminding us that studies have shown that up to 50 per cent of people with COVID-19 are still infectious after five days. With many companies having resources in place for workers to work from home, the longer isolation period and a negative test seemed to be a manageable protocol that kept everyone safe. The government has stated it is following the science and trying to help businesses that are struggling with both labour shortages and staff sidelined with illness. But, by allowing people back to school or work while there is a chance that they can still spread the virus, removing a clear isolation period seems to be inviting an even higher absenteeism rate.
Of course, the removal of the “mandatory” isolation period doesn’t mean that it is now mandatory to return to work. Businesses, individuals and families can continue to work together to find a balance between keeping everyone safe and healthy, and keeping the economy moving. Rapid tests can be our crutch this winter - if positive, stay home; when it returns to negative, return cautiously to work or school. – DS
A team effort
Week after week, in the pages of The Citizen and on social media, local service clubs, volunteer organizations, businesses and individuals have been recognized for opening their wallets and doing their part to make the Inspiring our Future campaign a success. The project will raise millions of dollars to help fund the renovation and expansion of the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre and it has already been wildly successful. Not a week goes by, it seems, that The Citizen doesn’t receive an e-mail about an organization contributing what it can to the project, from $25,000 to $250,000 and even the kick-off donation of $340,000 from the volunteer team itself, showing that the residents who have stepped up talk the talk and walk the walk.
The Citizen has followed the need for renovations at the centre for years. What seemed like an unattainable dream soon became a reality when the federal and provincial governments pledged their support. The project then fell victim to a drastic price increase due to the pandemic. While Huron East and Morris-Turnberry stepped up and increased their contributions, it has been the fundraising committee that has been entrusted with covering the shortfall. Some may have had concerns, but the work of the committee, the people of Brussels and fundraising professional (and Brussels-area resident) Nicole Jutzi has spoken for itself, making the impossible possible.
When it comes down to it though, fundraising is impossible without generous people willing to write a cheque and help out a worthy cause. So, to the people, businesses and service clubs that have directed their hard-earned dollars towards the campaign and the people who have volunteered their time to champion the project, thank you for your investment in our community. This project will be a shining light in Brussels for decades to come and you are all to thank. – SL
Where’s the common sense?
Mona Chasin found herself falling through the cracks of the long-term care system recently when the 80-year-old lost her bed due to being away from it for a medical issue, leaving some to call for common sense.
Chasin was receiving medical care for 28 days, two short of the 30-day absence period that allows a long-term care facility to pass her bed on to someone else. Unfortunately, as she was leaving the hospital she was at, she tested positive for COVID-19 and wasn’t allowed back into her long-term care room until after an isolation period. The result was that her bed was given away as she exceeded the 30 days. Her family is frustrated by the situation, as Chasin should be back where she’s been for the past two years and with a family member in the same facility.
For its part, Langstaff Square Care Community says that Chasin can reapply for her position and, as a previous resident, will be given priority. However, that still leaves her family paying $65 a day to keep her in a hospital. Like so many well-meaning policies, the rules that allow a bed to be declared vacant (following a 30-day medical absence or a 60-day absence linked to psychiatric issues) only work if they are tempered with common sense. Blindly applying a rule to every situation, as seen with Chasin’s situation, fails the very people it’s supposed to protect.
While the need for long-term care beds is set to ramp up over the coming years, it will become even more important for a little common sense to be exercised when applying rules, lest Chasin’s tale becomes a more commonplace experience. – JDS