Alberta has the highest COVID cases in Canada, and it's not even really a contest. Ontario is the next worst off. Alberta's rate this week was 70 per cent higher. @dougquan and I attempt to figure out how we got here.…
In the north, Fort Chip is the canary in the oilsands mine. The tiny fly in town has its first serious outbreak; they believe it was spread from nearby oil hub Fort McMurray. They have no hospital so they're debating adding ventilators to isolation rooms.…
Fort Mac itself is suffering. There are multiple outbreaks in oilsands camps, but a dependence on fly in, fly out workers makes containment hard. The regional rate is a staggering 1,655 per 100k. (To put that in national context, that's 4x the Peel rate.)…
Alberta faces some unique challenges here: An oil-dependent economy that was struggling even pre-pandemic has made lockdowns a hard sell. Urban centers scattered around the province. An independent streak that makes government rules chafe.…
Many point a finger at Jason Kenney. People like to compare him and Ford, but experts say he faces a way different landscape than Ford and you can tell. The NDP won a surprise victory when the political right fragmented so Kenney must keep them united.…
The result? Kenney is playing whack a mole with people in his own party even. The multiple MLAs who went to the beach at the holidays. Who wrote a public letter criticizing him. Who throw shade at vaccines. Critics say rules are weak and poorly enforced.…
If there's a positive here, it's that Alberta's hospitals aren't underwater like Ontario's yet. But doctors worry it's coming. Yesterday, Alberta shattered its own daily record by almost 20 per cent. There is no sign of slowing.…

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More from @alex_n_boyd

18 Nov 20
After a sneak peek at their results last week, Pfizer and BioNTech are now finished testing of their vaccine. Results say it's 95 per cent effective with no serious safety concerns. A few other notable things 👇…
The size of the trial: People have asked about the speed which which these vaccines are being made. It is fast! But mostly because there's tons of money/support, not because testing isn't happening. Pfizer so far has trialed 43,661 volunteers at 151 sites in 6 countries.
Seniors: your immune system ages as you do, and seniors often need specially made vaccines. Experts have worried these first doses might not work for those who need them most. But Pfizer says their data shows 94% efficacy in those over 65.…
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov 20
So that promising Moderna COVID-19 vaccine news from yesterday? There's actually a cool Canadian connection. Toronto-born stem cell biologist Derrick Rossi co-founded the company, and their work is based on his research. It involved... a glowing mouse.…
What's cool about what Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are doing is they're pioneering a new way of making vaccines. (And drugs in general!) They use mRNA, which takes instructions from DNA to make protein. Basically they're tricking your cells into making the proteins they want.
Back in 2010, Rossi had figured out how to do this in a petri dish. But he hadn't done it in a living thing yet. So he took the mRNA that had the instructions for making the protein that fireflies make. He injected it into a mouse. What happened? It glowed!
Read 6 tweets

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