• Michelle Leduc Catlin

The Overcrowding Justification

Updated: 2 days ago


Let's travel back in time to March 2020.


In Canada, we were hearing of the coming of covid.


We were asked, for the greater good, to lockdown for 2 weeks.

The reason?


We could “flatten the curve.”


Most of us not being scientists, many of us conflated this idea with somehow beating C-19.


But it never meant that.


Flattening the curve didn’t mean less cases.


It meant less cases all at once.


In other words, we would manage the potential burden on our hospitals by staying in, thereby spreading out the number of people needing hospitalization over a greater period of time.


Hospitals could get a handle on current cases, and then as we rejoined society, they would deal with new cases.


We’d delay, not stop, the spread, until we could be more prepared.


That's what we were told.


All through this past 15 months, we’ve been hearing about the pressure on hospitals.

It begs the question, then why haven’t we built more facilities?


Hired and trained auxiliary staff?


Expanded our capacity to deal with this apparent C-19 deluge, which we've now known about for well over a year?


Because it doesn’t exist.


At least, not as a result of C-19.


Here are just 2 stories, from NPR and The Guardian, showing that millions of dollars have been spent on facilities in the US and in China that were never used…


https://www.npr.org/2020/05/07/851712311/u-s-field-hospitals-stand-down-most-without-treating-any-covid-19-patients

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/12/what-chinas-empty-new-coronavirus-hospitals-say-about-its-secretive-system


The same story exists in other parts of the world.


So why do we, in Ontario, (and maybe where you, dear reader, are living) keep seeing headlines about our healthcare facilities bursting at the seams?

Because they’re always bursting at the seams...

Hospital overcrowding leads to poor patient care and low staff morale, CBC - 2016

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-19-2016-1.3588936/hospital-overcrowding-leads-to-poor-patient-care-and-low-staff-morale-report-suggests-1.3588953


Critical Bed Shortages "Systemic and Pervasive”, Ontario Health Coalition - 2017

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/ontario-government-responsible-for-overwhelmed-hospital-emergency-departments-critical-bed-shortages-systemic-and-pervasive-610267765.html

“The OHA has told the province that hospitals cannot go on at this rate without significantly compromising front-line care.” - 2017

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/16/surge-in-patients-forces-ontario-hospitals-to-put-beds-in-unconventional-spaces.html


Surgeries postponed due to severe flu cases overwhelming Toronto ICU, CityNews - 2018

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/02/13/toronto-hospital-flu/


“Because we're permanently running our hospital system in crisis in Ontario there is no surge capacity.” - Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition - 2018

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/hospital-overcrowding-windsor-crisis-1.4503107


"Some of Ontario's biggest hospitals are filled beyond capacity nearly every day, new data reveals" - 2019

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-hospital-hallway-medicine-healthcare-beyond-capacity-1.5420434


Why didn’t the government finally address the issue of our perpetually overburdened and underfunded hospitals during the current health crisis?


Why did they choose to keep us in a constant state of fear by choosing to batten down the hatches instead of building a better boat?


If lockdowns were and are “required” to “flatten the curve” why haven’t they ended now that we know that the curve flattens after every flu season?


And why isn’t the media contextualizing this perennial story?


Instead, we get the same story with the next spin…

Ontario hospitals brace for a wave of non-COVID-19 patients as pandemic caseloads ease - 2021

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ontario-hospitals-brace-for-a-wave-of-non-covid-19-patients-as/


These are just some of the questions we need to be asking, dear reader.


Because nobody is asking them for us.



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