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If you only listened to the CBC from Toronto, you would believe that the whole country is doing poorly with the Covid pandemic. The problem being that CBC at the English Mother House in Toronto has the sad tendency to report all news in a Toronto Centric way, but Toronto is only one city in Canada and not the whole country. We have 6 time zones in an immense geographic area.

The Atlantic provinces New-Brunswick, Nova-Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador is almost never mentioned in the news, Quebec is only mentioned if something derogatory makes the news. In other words the news are skewed in Toronto’s favour. It was not always like that but in decentralizing, the Federal Government allowed the National Broadcaster to leave the Capital Ottawa, the English service went to Toronto and the French service to Montreal.

At the moment with the Pandemic, Ontario is definitely a NO GO area, with 4500 cases per day, the Provincial Government who is responsible for Health Care has made a terrible mess of things by putting the priority on businesses instead of public health, the result, the health service is collapsing and doctors have to decide who will live and who will die, not a good situation.

Here in Atlantic Canada, PEI has a handful of cases, all at home, Newfoundland and Labrador another handful, Nova Scotia a few, the problem is New Brunswick because of its border with Quebec. So the opening of inter-provincial borders expected for next week is not going to happen. The Premiers are playing it safe and prefer to wait until May 3 to see if we can re-open our border to visitors from other Atlantic provinces. We will definitely NOT re-open to any other Canadians from other provinces or the USA.

Either way Will and I are getting our vaccine next week, the Pfizer one.

In the local news yesterday on PEI, the head of the Nurses Union said that 250 nurses had either changed jobs or quit and we were very short staffed. That is a huge number for PEI. Many have gone to work for the Federal Government at the Dept of Veterans Affairs, better pay and better benefits and a lot less stress. The pandemic has created a scenario where nurses are expected to work 7 days a week, we do a lot of testing, sometimes 1000 per day or more and then the inoculation of the population is going great guns. So nursing staff is worked hard and many are tired.

Mental health also appears to be the flavour of the month, we only have 2 psychiatrists on the Island and we need a minimum of 10. Most of the work in this field is done by nurses who do a lot of counselling, but that is not the same thing as having a doctor see you. Also you can easily wait 3 weeks in an emergency situation.

The PEI Government talks a lot about reform but little is being done and it all hinges on salary and benefits which keeps a lot of doctors away.

Mark Rothko, no.12