January 24th, 2021

We must all do what we can: open letter from emergency doctors

By Lethbridge Herald on March 16, 2020.

An Open Letter from the Front Lines:

We are Emergency Physicians in Alberta, and we need you to read this.

We see a potential disaster coming that may result in an overwhelmed health care system and much suffering. We have seen this in Italy and elsewhere. Right now, in Italian hospitals, front line physicians are choosing who lives and dies; people who could otherwise be helped are being left to die because there simply aren’t enough resources to go around. We do not want this, and we fear that this is coming.

System overload isn’t just about COVID-19. An overwhelmed system fails everyone: the trauma patients, the heart attacks, the cancer patients, the kids, all of us. We must act quickly. The only way to lessen disaster is to slow the rate of new infections.

We must act now. It is better to over-react now and scale back restrictions later. We don’t get a second chance to contain this and prevent millions of infections and unknown numbers of deaths. Our window of time to control this in Canada is closing fast. We have been paying attention to our Italian physician colleagues and watching their sorrow. A few days from now may be too late.

Think of COVID-19 as a fire: every case is a new spark. Our public health system can chase and find many sparks, but if there are too many sparks, a fire will happen that we can’t put out quickly, and then it gets out of control. We must act now, and everyone needs to participate, not just those at risk. We must all do what we can to prevent the spread. We must act together to try to prevent disaster.

Here is what you can do:

  • Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Work from home, if you can.
  • Cancel your travel plans. If you have loved ones abroad, encourage them to come home now.
  • Talk to your relatives and friends about how they can avoid catching this, and about what to do if they become sick. Have a network in place to provide essentials for those who are at home. Stay in touch by phone and protect our vulnerable citizens.
  • If you are sick, even a little, stay home.
  • If you are worried, call Health Link or call your doctor, or go to Alberta.ca/covid
  • If you are very ill, call 911.
  • If you have been traveling outside of Canada, follow the public health recommendations and self- quarantine. Be bold. Be decisive. Pay attention. We must look after each other. We commend the swift action of our Public Health leaders. Listen to their recommendations!

As Emergency Physicians, we will work hard to take care of you, no matter what.
This is serious, and we need your help. We need to work together to have our best chance at altering the course of this pandemic.

Together we need to #ShutitDown

Dr. Duncan Mackey Dr. Bilal Mir
Dr. Kevin Martin Dr. Peter Kwan Dr. Sharon Fehr
Dr. Sean Wilde
Dr. Matthew Kriese Dr. Magda Lisztwan Dr. Stephanie Brass Dr. Ehi Iyayi
Dr. Wesley Orr
Dr. Nicholas Hamilton Dr. Alan Wilde
Dr. Richard Buck
Dr. Ryan Derman
Dr. Brian Rowe

Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Solid advice! We ALL need to do our part!


j57 – we agree lol
just keep away from my toilet paper!


Well lets not make this a trend of any kind!

Seth Anthony

One sentence and adding nothing? Sounds like a waterhead move for sure! I will STOP!