Well-deserved praise for health care workers
In an editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press, Dr. Royce Koop, head of political studies in the UM Faculty of Arts, urges us all to praise healthcare workers during the pandemic, as they are “prominent political actors.”
Koop noted: “Once the coronavirus had breached Canada’s unguarded borders, governments mandated social distancing and shut both schools and businesses in the hope that doing so would prevent our health-care system from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. But doctors, nurses and other health-care workers were always going to be more exposed — and thus at greater risk of infection — than other Canadians.”
Dr. Koop pointed out that just under 10 per cent of Ontario’s confirmed COVID-19 cases were among doctors, nurses, paramedics, support workers, care home staff and others in the health-care sector, and the percentage is likely the same in other jurisdictions.
He notes that shortages of personal protective equipment for health care professionals have spawned outrage, and that we need to continue to express support for our front line workers in ways that are very visible, such as Vancouver’s 7 pm banging of pots and loud applause near hospitals at shift changes.
He says: “Whether working in the emergency room to save lives or on the picket line to bring about changes designed to protect us, health-care workers all deserve our gratitude.”