Covid-19 has been one of the most all encompassing social situations that we have experienced in decades. This challenge has been particularly onerous for government and health officials who have been tasked with creating a mandate to deal with it. There have been life and death decisions to make and limited time to make them.
When the first cases of Covid-19 began to spread globally, people wholeheartedly supported their government’s efforts to control this potentially deadly threat. Certainly that was the case in Canada.
Our federal and provincial governments stepped up with aggressive plans to prevent an onslaught of cases which had been seen in other countries. To date we have been relatively fortunate – especially in provinces like Saskatchewan where our population density is particularly low.
Since we have been spared the catastrophe that other areas have experienced, people are beginning to question whether our governments and health officials overreacted or used this situation to overreach their authority.
I have to admit that I was shocked and concerned to learn that our government had all but shut down health services in Saskatchewan. Since I was suffering from health issues at the time, this was something that immediately caught my attention and it seemed like a really bad idea. I had no reason to believe that my health issues were potentially life threatening but I was concerned none the less. My concern was moreso for those whose health issues were far more serious than mine. People who had, or who would develop, cancer, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, and the like. These people would require more than a phone consultation with their family physician or urgent care in an emergency room. As I thought it through, I realized that what health services we had could not be compromised and that maintaining regular health services would be a threat in itself for the spread of Covid 19. The whole situation was mind boggling.
Last week, one local family experienced their worst nightmare. Their nineteen year old son died from massive heart failure. It is possible that his death could have been prevented if he had had a routine scheduled cat scan which may have identified the potential problem before it became fatal. My heart goes out to this young man and his family. No parent can imagine the pain of losing a child. No parent could possibly deny this family has been devastated by not only the loss of their son, but a loss that could potentially have been prevented. One has to wonder how many other lives have been lost under similar circumstances.
It would be easy to blame our government and health officials for such losses but what decisions would we have made under current circumstances? How does one choose when there is so much at stake?
I am grateful that I was not tasked with making any of the decisions to deal with Covid-19. I am grateful for those who were.
My heart goes out to all who paid the price for the decisions that were made to protect us all.