.@PremierScottMoe, it was more than disheartening to hear you talk today about how doctors should *start* publicly educating and talking to media to counter pandemic misinformation, as if we haven’t been doing this kind of advocacy from the start.

A thread (with receipts):
Back in March 2020, we saw the writing on the wall and knew we needed more action from our political & business leaders. Our first open letter, signed by nearly 200 Drs, called for a move to encourage employees to work from home and businesses to move to a takeout/curbside model.
In November 2020, we wrote again, this time specifically addressing you. We asked for masking in public spaces and increased funding to support testing and contact tracing capacity (sound familiar?).
In April, 2021 we wrote to you again, asking for consistent public health measures, economic support for essential workers such as paid sick time, and a vaccine rollout plan in keeping with national recommendations.
All in between and ongoing, dozens of Sask physicians have been on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to provide education and information. We’ve done interviews with local, national, and even international media, sometimes even in other languages!
We’ve had countless one on one conversations with friends, family, and strangers to answer COVID-related questions and allay vaccine-related fears.
All of this has been done unpaid during precious hours off with our families.
We do this as a labour of love and out of a sense of obligation, so it feels like more than a slap in the face to have our premier now announce that there is “an opportunity for medical professionals to provide some guidance.”
Sir, we’ve been providing it all along, to the public but most importantly to you. We have wanted to provide collaboration and share our expertise, to let you know our concerns.
Today we are in our worst wave yet, but please don’t place any blame at our feet.

I neglected to include this letter from Saskatchewan’s 17 medical health officers from the end of August. Of course, they made a number of sensible recommendations that were promptly ignored by our premier, only for him to abruptly change course a couple weeks later.

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More from @hinz_tamara

27 Aug
A few slides that I thought were particularly important from tonight’s #Covid19Sk physician town hall:

Firstly, this should be no surprise that Sask holds the dubious distinction of being among the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country. Dark blue = bad.
The % change columns are important and have basically flatlined into the lowest rates in the country. @skgov wants to put all their eggs in the vaccine basket but also shows no willingness to find ways to increase uptake. Other jurisdictions tell us that vaccine mandates work.
Canadian modelling from the end of July shows what case rates will do when restrictions are dropped. Look what happened? We are tracking, within margin of error, right along that horrible vertical slope.
Read 8 tweets
2 Feb
This mantra from @PremierScottMoe about "lives vs livelihoods" is such a false dichotomy. It's upsetting to me because it completely shuts down the option of time-limited financial support for business owners and employees to temporarily shut down so we can quash this curve.
"Livelihoods" are only at risk if we refuse to help people when they are in need. Instead of forcing businesses to remain open when it's unsafe to do so, we could be providing rental and wage subsidies. Is this expensive? Maybe. You know what is also expensive?
ICU beds, HCW overtime, lost productivity due to waiting for canceled procedures, **lost productivity because you died a premature death due to COVID.** I haven't even touched on the emotional costs of illness, isolation, and the loss of dear loved ones. We need to
Read 4 tweets
19 Jan
I spoke with @SLangeneggerCBC on the radio this morning about the psychology of pandemic rules and some of the reasons why we may be seeing more apathy from some of our partners on this large-scale group project where we all need to do our part. 🧵:
Rules need to be consistent and simple. Most want to do their part but we need to make rules easy to understand. I’m often asked what the various restrictions are for indoor vs outdoor vs restaurants gatherings, how long do you need to self isolate with a negative test? Etc.
Support people to do the right thing. Paid sick leave and other safety nets are crucial. If you’re in isolation, do you have a way to get groceries? Public health checking in on people in quarantine every day is great for mental health but also for enforcement. Speaking of which,
Read 8 tweets
3 Dec 20
From @MMandryk: “As Moe watches malls and box stores crowded with Christmas shoppers and sees daily case COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, surely he understands now is not the time to send signals we can be lax?”

This is what blows my mind:


The premier has seen the same modelling numbers the physicians did at our provincial town hall last week (this is now available on the SHA website). He knows what the forecast shows in terms of our hospital capacity - even *with* our current level of restrictions.

This graph shows that the high end of the estimates for hospitalizations - **assuming current public health orders stay in place and aren’t loosened** - will reach 50% OF ALL BED CAPACITY by February.

Read 5 tweets
16 Mar 20
I've been asked to do a post on how to manage anxiety and other mental health symptoms that may be popping up or exacerbated by the #pandemic. As a psychiatrist I can't help manage ventilators or relieve our tired ER physicians so hopefully this is a small way I can be helpful:
1. News and social media can be a vital source of information updates but there's a fine line between being informed and getting overwhelmed by (mis)information. Bombarding yourself like that is a surefire way to worsen anxiety; try to unplug and disconnect for a few hours a day
2. Exercise is a powerful stress buster and mood booster - it literally grows new brain cells! Your gym may be closed so get creative about other ways to move your body. Find some exercises on YouTube or dig out an old workout DVD.
Read 8 tweets

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