I was recently given well-meaning advice, to speak less about Jude, that talking about him too much could be seen as politicizing him.

"Have the courage to listen to their grief for as long as they want to talk about it."- @MaryFernando_

On May 6th it will be five years since I hugged my little boy.

When you lose someone, the world keeps moving, and people will get on with their lives around you. But your person is still gone, and your life is still changed.

4.5 years ago we made the choice to speak publicly about Jude's death with hope that by sharing him, we could protect someone else's family. We wished desperately that the conversation about illness prevention had been louder a year earlier, to save Jude.

Talking about preventable deaths is hard. These are deaths that could happen to any family, and they happen because, as communities - and our govts - we haven't done enough to protect ourselves and each other. It's sad, and it's the worst consequence of failing each other. 4/9
I wish this wasn't my story. I wish this wasn't my experience. I wish I was worried about all three of my children in their crowded classrooms with poor ventilation today, but only two are still here. I've already lost one to illness in the classroom.

No one ever tells you not to talk about your living children.

No one will tell me not to talk about my worry for my kids who are at school during a pandemic.

But some feel it's too much to talk about loss. Ours, and the 7013 Ontarians we've lost to #COVID19.

We need to talk about it. We need to see those lost lives and the loved ones they've left behind. We need to understand that grief doesn't end when the pandemic ends. Their chairs are empty forever, and if we don't see this loss now, we'll fail to do enough to prevent more.

I've been grateful every day to @jkwan_md for recognizing the lost lives during this pandemic, and I wish our government would do the same. These deaths should be acknowledged, and not swept under the rug, and every possible action should be taken to protect lives.

Jude's life was wonderful, but far too short. All I can do for him now is continue to love him, and speak his name loudly and hope that will help save someone else's grandpa, pregnant wife, or Jude.

That's not for 'points'. It's because his life was important. Everyone's is. 9/9

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More from @jillpromoli

2 Mar
As our #COVIDVaccine efforts ramp up in Ontario, there are hard conversations happening. LTC needed to be our top priority, and as of yesterday there were still residents receiving their first dose. Frontline healthcare workers also needed to be prioritized. 1/10
Now that we can expect regular vaccine shipments, Ontarians are asking where they & their loved ones fall in line. All else being equal, age would be the greatest risk factor.

But all else is not equal, and our postal codes are a factor in risk levels.2/
'In these worst-affected postal codes, the death rate for people 80 and older was 27x higher than an 80-plus person living in ON’s least-affected postal codes.

Even people in their early 40s had 2x death or hospitalization rate vs a senior >80 in areas w/lowest COVID rates.'3/10
Read 10 tweets
24 Sep 20
My mom works in a small grocery store in my hometown on Lake Huron. When the pandemic began, I was terrified. A broken ankle took her out of work in late March until very recently. I was feeling okay about her going back when Ontario's numbers were better. But now... 1/11
Each time we talk she tells me about more customers coming in refusing to wear masks. 'Why should I bother? It's not really here, and I see people not wearing them all over the place.' Her friends and out-of-towners gathering in groups without #PhysicalDistancing or masks. 2/11
Each time I talk about #COVID19 on FB, friends who are still in the area insist the crisis is over and there's no need to worry. For them, 'we need to learn to live with this virus,' means, 'we have to get back to normal and it is what it is'. 3/11
Read 11 tweets
22 Sep 20
Alright. I'm seeing a lot of reaction and questions re: today's announcement from @fordnation re: the #flushot. Let's talk about it.
1) 'Why is the #flushot a top priority in their pandemic response?'

It's early September and we're already stretched beyond our testing capacity, before flu season has started. Symptoms for flu and COVID are similar, and fewer flu cases means fewer people needing COVID tests.
2) 'What does the flu have to do with #COVID19?'

They're 2 different *serious* respiratory illnesses. Early this year we heard a lot of 'just a flu' or '*not* just a flu'. Please forget this phrase. Flu kills ~3500 Canadians each year. We don't know what both together are like.
Read 8 tweets
18 Sep 20
This is the part that made me tear up. Please read this thread and know this is happening across the province.

What's happening in Ontario isn't working, and the plans in place will make it worse.
With full-size classes, every time there's COVID-19 in a classroom that's an 10-15 *more* families & their communities instantly impacted than we'd have with classes capped at 15. That's more people at risk, more people in these lines, less ability to test & trace. #onted #onpoli
Parents are asked to keep kids home even with mild symptoms, but the government hasn't sufficiently expanded #sickdays to enable to do that. Parents will send sick kids to school because staying home could mean missing groceries or rent, or losing a job.
Read 9 tweets
24 Aug 20
Some days are harder than others. Today is one of them.

Four years ago we received the call from the coroner telling us they'd conclusively determined Jude's cause of death: influenza B.

#forjudeforeveryone 1/11 Image
There's no good way to lose someone you love, but learning that Jude's death was preventable was a punch in the gut. He'd failed to develop immunity from his flu shot, but better prevention in our communities could have stopped the flu from reaching him and protected him. 2/11
After a lot of hard conversations and important lessons from experts, we got to work, founding a flu prevention campaign with the hope of protecting others from being in our shoes. We can't have Jude back, but what if we could help someone else keep their loved one? 3/11
Read 11 tweets
23 Aug 20
'But because people can spread COVID before they develop symptoms, “by the time you’ve identified that COVID case there might be other cases in the classroom already,” Bauch said. And, the more kids in a classroom, the trickier the social distancing.'#SafeSeptember #onted #onpoli
I disagree with Bauch's calls for a hybrid model as a solution. They found 15 kids : 2 adults problematic in childcare, and a hybrid class would still have groups of 15 kids, many who would need childcare on non-class days, increasing potential for exposure within cohorts.
We don't have sufficient childcare spaces in Ontario in normal times, and certainly not now. Many parents (mostly moms, statistically) would be forced to leave their jobs to facilitate a hybrid option, putting families at financial risk, requiring significant govt assistance.
Read 4 tweets

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