Ontario Nurse (name withheld) April 2021
Dear Premier Ford, Health Minister Elliot, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Williams, and MPP Jane McKenna,
Ignore the shrill fear-mongering of my healthcare worker colleagues in this open letter addressed to you:
Do not be guilt-tripped into further issuing lockdowns. Rather, open up immediately.
I am a registered nurse with 18-years of experience working on the hospital front line, including ICU, Emergency, and various inpatient departments in many institutions. Overwhelmed hospitals existed long before Covid. I have seen elderly people looking rather grey or blue, dumped into closets and common areas, without piped oxygen, many a-flu-season ago working at large urban hospitals with decaying infrastructure and lack of beds. Working triage during the wicked flu season of 2018 (without a mask, not a sick day took), I remember walls of people crammed into the waiting room due to lack of space and hospital overwhelm daily.
It is from this context of my experience that I read this letter by my colleagues demanding lockdown and I wonder if they have gotten soft and forgotten what a busy hospital looks like. Too many days with the ER running at half-capacity through most of the pandemic lockdowns, easily verified through publicly available hospital data, has perhaps set a new standard of leisure time at work. Frankly, one of the biggest complaints I have heard from doctors during lockdown is excruciating boredom.
The threats of impending catastrophe in our hospitals are utterly unfounded. The claim that we face another Italy or New York was used to issue lockdowns last March, again in December, and once again today. Reality never seems to match the modeling and we are in the process of completely discrediting ourselves. As the saying goes: “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.”
As politicians, health leaders, and front-line workers, the looming tsunami we truly face is that of the public’s contempt for destroying their lives for no reason. Trust me, they are waking up.
Ontario registered nurse.