In the early parts of January, Premier Heather Stefanson was dragged through the mud for claiming Manitobans should fend for themselves through COVID-19. “This virus is running throughout our community and it’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves,” Stefanson said. For me, this quote evoked an eerily dystopian image of apocalypse survivors fighting for resources in a libertarian hellscape as their overlord looked on in her ivory tower. Stefanson has thrown equitable health policy out of the window for the health of the economy, and the most vulnerable will serve as the sacrificial lambs by which the divinity of her pragmatic policies rest on.
In a rare piece of good COVID-19 news, researchers in Texas are developing a COVID-19 vaccine called Corbevax that developers say will be based on conventional vaccine technology, will be cheaper to produce and less complicated to store. Crucially, they do not intend to patent the vaccine, hoping this will make it more accessible in low-income countries.
High school students across Manitoba walked out of class last Monday to demand improved COVID-19 safety measures as in-person learning resumes.
The ongoing surge of Omicron cases has some Winnipeg homeless shelters struggling to retain staff and recruit volunteers to operate their services.
Aleeza Gerstein and Lauren Kelly, assistant professors at the University of Manitoba, are spearheading investigations into the challenges faced by early learning and child-care centres (ELCC) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Niki Ashton, NDP MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, echoed some Manitoba First Nations’ calls for military support on reserves overwhelmed by rising COVID-19 cases.
The Manitoba NDP released a statement Jan. 10 calling on the PC government to adopt “measures to make schools safer and ease the burden of at-home learning” on families, and proposed five solutions the provincial government could implement to help families manage the delay to in-person learning.
Ottawa will be sending 140 million rapid tests to provincial and territorial governments to assist with overwhelmed PCR testing capacities nationwide.
People eagerly come together during the holiday season to celebrate. However, as COVID-19 cases surged across the world, many were forced to change their New Year’s plans yet again. Amid the rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, Canadians were not the exception. While the federal government recommended citizens avoid foreign travel without establishing travel bans, provincial governments established various restrictions to reduce the transmissibility of the virus in their jurisdictions. Lack of preparation has defined most governments’ responses to the new variant.
Whether or not classrooms indeed open for a general return come Feb. 28, the U of M should consider additional options for keeping students and faculty safe and, moving forward, should aim to be better prepared for setbacks like the one our province and country have experienced in recent months.