'Slap in the face of every health worker’: Canadians, top doctors respond to convoy protest threats, suggestion to avoid scrubs in streets

·4 min read
'Slap in the face of every health worker’: Canadians, top doctors respond to convoy protest threats, suggestion to avoid scrubs in streets

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, stressed that we need to be "grateful" for healthcare workers, after hospital employees in Toronto were advised to not to wear anything to identify them has health workers this weekend, due to a possible "freedom convoy" protest.

"We need to really be grateful and appreciate our health workers and our public health workers because they’ve been working day and night for over two years to try and keep all of us safe, and it’s unacceptable, any kind of hate, any kind of violence should not be tolerated," Dr. Tam said at a press conference on Friday.

"Protests are one thing and should be done peacefully and these are the very people who are trying to help, not only to protect people against COVID-19 but to support the community and all sorts of health issues. If you had an accident, if you need surgical interventions, if you need cancer treatment, so all these workers need to be able to have a safe passage to work and I think that’s critically important."

Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada's health minister, urged all healthcare workers to report any incidents of harassment, intimidation and threats to their local police force.

Looking at how Canada should manage COVID-19 moving forward, Canada's chief public health officer indicated that we need to recognize that COVID-19 "is not going to disappear."

"We need to be able to address the ongoing presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a more sustainable way," Dr. Tam said. "The virus will continue to evolve so we need to also continue to evolve our measures, recognizing that further waves will occur."

"Some will actually be quite severe or disruptive and we need to be ready for them, but we do need to have more longer term, sustained approaches and capacity building so that we’re not in crisis mode all the time as we fight this virus."

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