Canada isn’t funding injured Humboldt Broncos player’s spinal surgery
Ryan Straschnitzki, a 20-year-old hockey player who was involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is home after undergoing surgery in Thailand. Straschnitzki was paralyzed when the team bus hit a westbound semi-trailer truck on April 6, 2018. 16 people on the bus were killed due to the awful accident.
On Sunday night, Straschnitzki made his way into the Calgary airport from Thailand. He told Global News, “It feels good. I mean I felt that cold, cold wind hit my legs, so I’m feeling good. It’s good to be back.”
There are now two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada and many Canadians are wondering if they should adopt the practice wearing a face mask for the purpose of prevention.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said in a press conference this afternoon that the Ministry of Health has “never recommended” face masks. Williams acknowledged that while other cultures practice the use of face masks, it would not benefit Canadians to use them according to The Star.
He added that one is better off to avoid putting their hands near their face than the use of face masks. Williams also recommended taking standard fly protocols to protect yourself from the coronavirus.
Face masks quickly and easily become dirty from lack of washing stated Williams, making them even more habitable for germs inside the mask, rather than what could be on the other side.
The couple who were diagnosed with coronavirus were already wearing face masks on the plane returning from China, Williams revealed. As was the person who drove the couple to their private residence.
Currently, facemasks are flying off the shelves in Toronto regardless, although Williams recommends that the simplest way to avoid the spread of coronavirus is to wash your hands, avoid touching your face and limit travel.
Public health officials said that they are looking into the passengers that were seated within a “certain distance” of the two passengers now confirmed to be infected.
All other passengers are advised to continue about their “regular business” unless they begin to experience and kind of change in their respiratory symptoms.
The interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, visited Canada today and sat down with Prime Minister Trudeau. He is touring internationally to gain support from other countries and take the upper hand over Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s current socialist party leader.
Guaido’s trip outside of Venezuela has not been permitted by the country’s Supreme Court, who sides with Maduro. As one of the countries supporting Guaido’s efforts to take power, Prime Minister Trudeau and senior cabinet ministers will be meeting with him today.
In a statement, Trudeau said, “I commend Interim President Guaido for the courage and leadership he has shown in his efforts to return democracy to Venezuela, and I offer Canada’s continued support.”
Guaido and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister took questions in Ottawa at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Over 50 countries acknowledge Guaido as the interim President, considering Maduro’s reelection to be illegitimate. Guaido is head of congress for the South American nation.
Sanctions have been imposed against some of Maduro’s government officials by Canada who is one of five nations who believe Maduro should be handled by the International Criminal Court.
Maduro still has the majority of control throughout Venezuela regardless of the support that Guaido has received from other countries.
So far Guaido has been to Paris, London, Madrid and stopped at the Davos Economic Forum.
While the coronavirus is currently not a public health emergency, as per the World Health Organization, it’s not impossible that a novel disease could get out of hand in a hurry. I’m writing this article because, amidst all the coverage of the Wuhan virus which has quarantined 35 million and counting, I watched Contagion, thus spooking me out tenfold.
Contagion, a 2011 movie starring Matt Damon about an unknown virus that starts in China thanks to bat droppings and creeps its infected hands across the globe, paints a horrifying picture of what can happen when scientists aren’t able to keep up with a disease. (An eerily similar situation to what’s going on now, though fairly easy to predict granted China’s history with diseases.)
And while we are still nowhere close to pandemic levels, it’s still important to know what to do in a situation where the virus has landed in your country and is potentially making its way through your neighbourhood.
Before delving in, though, I want to say: do not panic, this is a hypothetical article about a very specific scenario—one that humanity has gotten pretty good at curbing. With that said: here are 10 steps you should take to minimize your chances of contracting a novel virus if things were to get that bad.
*Note, I am NOT a medical professional. These suggestions are a collection of several health websites throughout the web.
1. Protective masks
In some densely populated Asian countries, it’s not uncommon to see citizens wearing white medical masks on their faces, and in the videos circulating online of Wuhan, you’ll be quick to see just about everyone wearing one. This is because protective masks, while not fool-proof, can decrease your chances of breathing in air-borne projectiles through coughs or sneezes—if applied properly.
Professor of molecular Jonathan Bell at the University of Nottingham has said: “In one well-controlled study in a hospital setting, the face mask was as good at preventing influenza infection as a purpose-made respirator.” So strap up!
2. Washing your hands/avoid touching your face
One of the best things anyone can do to stop the spread of diseases is thoroughly washing your hands with soap and warm water. In times of real strife, it’s advised by the CDC that you wash your hands.:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
While that may seem obsessive, take this as an example: “In developing countries, childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases can be reduced by introducing simple behavioural changes, such as handwashing with soap. This simple action can reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 percent.”
All of this is hand-in-hand with not touching your face. The average person touches their face 23 times an hour. Avoid scratching or rubbing your face or nose with your hands, unless recently washed.
3. Avoid public transportation
Public transportation is a notorious playground for bacteria and diseases to make their way.
The combination of hoards of people, all tightly packed in tubes and all touching the same handles and doors is not ideal when avoiding an illness. But, there are a few steps you can take to make the ride a bit easier on you:
- Don’t feel the need to be polite. Don’t sit next to anyone sick. If someone that you suspect is sick sits next to you, move. There’s no need to take a risk
- Take a “seat check” before sitting down. Obviously, avoid visibly dirty seats.
- Again, the golden rule: wash your hands immediately after getting off the bus. Especially if you touched any straps, poles, belts, or other surfaces.
- Hand sanitizer aplenty, if you don’t have any way to wash your hands.
4. Glove etiquette
Gloves, though they do need to be changed fairly frequently, are a highly effective way to avoid bodily fluids. Saliva, the main culprit, can be spread easily via coughs and sneezes into hands, and then on to public transport. This is why the sleeve sneeze, or the “vampire sneeze,” is another great method to avoid getting others ill.
Other, more obvious bodily fluids to avoid include blood, vomit, urine, and feces, which all pose a higher risk of cross-contamination.
Pro tip: Avoid wearing gloves while preparing food. While this may seem like a good idea, it may actually make the odds of cross-contamination more likely. This is why many professional kitchens will opt for frequent washing rather than gloves.
5. “Extra steps”
The little things go a long way, whether it’s precautions or bacteria. There are several little things that can make a big difference, including alcohol wipes for cell phone screens. Cell phones are an often overlooked way of spreading bacteria. Avoid voice calls on your cell phone unless you’ve got a way to disinfect your screen first.
Other things you can do if you’re particularly vigilant are avoiding the handling of cash, and not allowing others to handle your debit card.
These suggested steps are still a bit further ahead in the future than the state we are currently in with coronavirus, and let’s hope we don’t ever need them. The last few notable public health crises’, (Ebola, Zika, H1N1) did do significant damage in given regions, but were all eventually contained and are all no longer considered public health risks and are now at what is considered “normal” levels.
A petition against the Liberal gun ban has just accumulated over 100,000 signatures. Petition E2341 is a petition against a ban on “military-style assault rifles.” The petition was initiated by Alberta resident, Bradley Manysiak.
With over 100,000 signatures, the petition is the second largest in Canadian history.
E-petitions can be open for 30, 60, 90 or 120 days for signature based on what the petitioner prefers. The petitions get a government response within 45 days of their opening. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair is overseeing the “buyback program” which Blair estimates could cost anywhere from $400 to $600 million.
The petition has been sponsored by MP Glen Motz who told The Post Millennial, “I am always pleased to help Canadians voice their concerns, especially on such a deeply flawed policy like the Liberals’ misguided approach on firearms policy that ignore criminals and instead focuses on law-abiding Canadian firearms owners. It is unfortunate that tens of thousands of Canadians feel ignored, maligned and even demonized by the Liberals, to the extend that this petition even necessary.”
“Canadians expect policies that focus on stopping criminals, gangs and the flow of illegal firearms into Canada, not policies that attacking law-abiding Canadians firearms owners.” Motz added.
“Canadians want clear, honest policies based on facts and evidence. But the Liberals firearms proposals make it clear they are intent on ignoring the evidence and will pursue public safety policies that do nothing to make Canadians safer.”
Blair’s office did not respond to request for comment from The Post Millennial. His office was asked what the minister’s response is to over 100,000 Canadians calling on the government to drop what many experts see as a completely ineffectual action to curb gun violence. Blair was also asked about fellow Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski’s letter addressed to him that opposed the gun ban (Powlowski has since retracted the letter) and Winnipeg Police constable calling the ban “nonsense”.
“When we seize handguns, the handguns are always almost 100% in the possession of people who have no legal right to possess them. They’re almost always stolen or illegally obtained,” said Const. Rob Carver. “I simply don’t see how as a 27-year-old veteran, how adding another layer of law will make any difference, anywhere in this country.”
In Powlowski’s letter to Blair he wrote, “Over the course of the past three months, I have heard a wide variety of views on this proposed ban. I believe it is my role to ensure that these views are brought to your attention for consideration.”
“Given that there is currently no legal definition for a ‘military-style assault rifle’ in Canada, some community members I have spoken with are skeptical that a ban based on this term would make sense as a coherent firearm policy,” the letter continued.
In a CBC interview in the summer of 2018, Blair said that most of the gun crime is committed by illegal handguns smuggled in from the U.S. and he was skeptical of a gun ban being effective in combating gun crime. His position changed drastically once he was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the public safety minister.
The Post Millennial also reached out to Tracey Wilson, who is a gun rights advocate from the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights.
“Parliamentary e petition E2341 is currently the second most signed petition in Canadian history. If we had the other 27k that missed step 2 we would be in first place. There is still more time so I’m confident we will surpass previous records,” said Wilson.
“This is proof positive that Canadians not only oppose bans on legal guns, but the undemocratic use of OIC’s to do it. I believe the reason for circumventing the usual parliamentary process is the Liberals know they don’t have the support they would need. They are dependant on other parties to pass legislation in their current state of a weakened minority.”
“There are two main reasons why law enforcement, every credible expert and Canadians in general oppose these measures; 1) they know it’s not licensed RCMP vetted gun owners that need to be targeted, its criminals and gangs. 2) the billions of taxpayer dollars they will waste could have been better allocated to at risk youth and community programs, law enforcement and technology at the border to prevent illicit smuggling.” said Wilson.
She added, “This will go down as one of the Liberal Party’s biggest failures and we are all the victims of it.”
A big portion of the signatures have come from Ontario with 35,533. Alberta had 21,753 signatories and B.C. had 18,930.